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Character Redesigns: Why don't they stick around?

Comic fans hear the word “redesign” a lot. It’s a tale as old as time, and every fan knows that no matter what crazy-ridiculous new look Jim Lee or Rob Liefeld can concoct, our beloved heroes are likely to be back in classic duds within a year. But what if they weren’t? What if these redesigns were actually both different and good enough to stick around for the long haul?

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s this little game that just came out called Injustice: Gods Among Us. This features the DC Universe in an Elseworlds-esque setting where Superman is tricked by The Joker into killing Lois Lane and all of Metropolis, and subsequently imposes a global ceasefire. Since this is billed as a non-canon Elseworlds story, there is no weight of continuity, no standards to adhere to, and free reign to go crazy with the status quo. (Wait, wasn’t that the point of the New 52?)

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A retrospective of Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi on Green Lantern

For the past 9 years, (starting with Green Lantern: Rebirth in 2004) Geoff Johns has been a key writer on Green Lantern titles. If you've noticed a lot of Hal Jordan in DC lately, it's because of Geoff Johns. That whole multi-colored lantern spectrum? That was him, too. And then there's Peter Tomasi, who first worked as an editor alongside Johns, then as a writer, primarily of the Green Lantern Corps books. Between the two of them, Green Lantern's universe has been expanded and changed in ways that will last for decades. And now, these two architects are stepping down from their luminous Lantern legacies. New creative teams are taking over all of the GL books. It's the end of an era.

As we move forward into the next chapter of the Book of Oa, I want to celebrate some of the great moments of the last 9 years of Green Lantern, the state of the franchise now, and the future of the Corps.


Maybe it's time for a female Green Lantern

DC’s New 52 initiative has garnered mixed reactions for the main Green Lantern title. Sinestro is wearing green, Hal Jordan has no ring, the Guardians are evil, and Black Hand returned to... death. However, perhaps the most ground shaking change was introducing the new Green Lantern of Earth: Simon Baz. As a person of color, I couldn’t be happier that there’s another minority character at the helm of a Green Lantern book joining African-American John Stewart and half-Mexican Kyle Rayner.

However, there still is something missing from my Green Lantern books that DC should be paying more attention to: female Lanterns.

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What You Should Read Before Seeing "The Dark Knight Rises"

I was just surfing around online yesterday and I saw this trailer for this movie that looks kind of cool. It's called "The Dark Knight Rises." Anyone heard of it? Is it supposed to be good?

Less than 3 weeks remain before the ridiculously-hyped and highly-anticipated final installment of Christopher Nolan's critically-acclaimed Batman trilogy reaches theaters. In my final installment of the "What You Should Read" series for summer 2012, I have prepared a few titles that could enhance your experience with The Dark Knight Rises. These should help familiarize you with some of the stories and characters that may have inspired TDKR. Or, perhaps you're like me and just can't wait.


Comics Coming Out of the Closet - A sign of social change, or profit-grabbing?

Comics have gotten a little gay recently. The comics industry, in true form, has taken notice of an already-explosive topic and made a spectacle out of it, perhaps capitalizing on controversy, or helping to fight for a cause.

On May 15, President Obama publicly declared his support of gay marriage. On May 23, Astonishing X-Men #50 hit shelves and digital storefronts featuring longtime hero Northstar proposing to his boyfriend. On June 1, DC Comics revealed that Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott will be a homosexual man in The New 52. On June 7, Earth-2 #2 featured Alan Scott proposing to his love interest. On June 21, Astonishing X-Men #51 will feature the first gay wedding in superhero comics.

It's very easy to get cynical about all these events taking place soon after Obama announced his support of gay marriage. Whether or not you believe it's a media stunt, exposure of the topic was increased by the media frenzy that occurred. News outlets from The View all the way to TMZ and local radio stations reported on the burgeoning gay stories. This is the start of huge social change.


A look back at some surprises from DC's new 52

We're in month nine of DC's New 52 initiative. We've seen mega hits in Batman and Action Comics, severe flops in Static Shock and Hawk & Dove, and sleeper hits in Birds of Prey and I, Vampire. The "First Wave" ended last month, and six titles (Static Shock, Hawk and Dove, Mister Terrific, Omac, Blackhawks, and Men of War) were axed. With their end come six new titles in a "Second Wave."

With more new titles on the way, I'd like to recognize some of my favorite surprises from the past eight months. Each of these titles has shown enough promise to earn continuation, but their true quality is not so easily gleaned. For me, a comic's priority is story, and these titles have delivered on that ground with each installment since they began. These are those stories you wouldn't expect to be great - those that provide a nice surprise.


PSA: Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday

Check your local comic book store to see if it's participating (it probably is), and head down early on Saturday to get a stack of free books! Be sure to support your local store by making an actual purchase, if you feel so inclined. Notable franchises with free books to be distributed include the Avengers, Transformers, Buffy, ...and many others. Check the link for the full list.


by Joshua Whitman on May 3, 2012