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The Cross-Over Nobody Asked For, But We Can’t Live Without

Hello Pals-o-Mine!

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I’m a sucker for cross-overs.  When fictional universes collide, you can bet that I’ll have a front seat.  Punisher vs. Archie, Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue; the more unlikely the crossover, the better!

You can imagine, then, how tickled pink I was to find this clip.

To celebrate the June 1st premiere of American Ninja Warrior on NBC, Lego has revealed one of the newest obstacle courses in stop-motion brick form.  Your favorite ANW competitors (in brick form), alongside Ninjago characters will preview the latest obstacle courses, one a week, for the next four weeks.

Once they stop releasing videos, I’ll only have my “The Shmoo Meets Dr. Heider” fanfic to satisfy my crossover jones.

Follow me, please!  @notacomplainer

The Cross-Over Nobody Asked For, But We Can’t Live Without

A New Mary Poppins Has Been Cast For The Upcoming Sequel

It will be hard to follow Julie Andrews, because just like Mary Poppins, she’s “practically perfect in every way.” However, it’s time for Emily Blunt to take over. The actress will assume the role of Poppins in an upcoming sequel from Disney. Lin-Manuel Miranda will play a new character who is a street lamplighter named Jack.

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What we know of the plot is that “Adult Michael” and his children are visited by their old nanny after a personal loss. Mary Poppins is then given the task to bring joy to the Banks family once again.

Michael_BanksThe film’s title will simply be Mary Poppins Returns. It’s set to open in theaters on Dec. 25, 2018, so we have quite a bit of time before then. I’ll be interested to see if Julie Andrews weighs in on the matter…perhaps there’s room for a cameo?

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A New Mary Poppins Has Been Cast For The Upcoming Sequel

#LGBTSuperheroes Say It’s Time For All Superheroes To Be Portrayed Accurately

By Joe Glass

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On the weekend, at the huge MCM London Comic Con at the ExCel Convention Centre, there was a slightly different screening. Different because this trailer screening featured something as yet pretty much unseen on the big screen: LGBT superheroes.

While I was tabling at the convention with my own LGBT superhero book, the director and stars of a special trailer, made to highlight the lack of LGBT diversity in modern superhero movies, despite the presence of characters who in the source material are LGBT, and say no more.

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In a twist of fate, I later met one of the stars of the trailer, Kane Surry. We were, at the time, both completely unaware of the others projects.

“Would you like me to give you the pitch?” I ask the gentleman casually browsing the comics on my table.

“Sure, go on.”

“Well, it’s all about a team of LGBT superheroes…”

“No way, really? You won’t believe where I just came from.”

Where he’d come from was a special pre-screening of the trailer he and the cast and director were giving an eager audience at the MCM Comic Con, made in partnership with the event.

We discussed ideas of LGBT representation in superhero movies and comics, and it was wonderful to see that our thoughts on the subject seemed to be in sync: despite superhero movies becoming a permanent and majorly important fixture of the Hollywood landscape for over a decade now, we still have yet to see an on-screen LGBT superhero or main character.

A number of characters who have been in the movies are in fact LGBT in the comics. Characters like Mystique and Catwoman are portrayed as bisexual, but there’s no suggestion of that in any of the many movies in which they have appeared. And whilst the trailer does also point to Iceman, an important distinction which may be highlighted there is the character didn’t come out as canonically gay until after his last appearance in the movies. However, what is also of note, whilst openly queer director of the majority of the X-Men franchise, Bryan Singer, has included plenty of gay allegory scenes (the Iceman ‘have you tried not being a mutant?’ scene is a particular stand-out) he has never included an actual LGBT character in the movies, or at least presented them as such. In that franchise alone, there are a huge number of LGBT characters that the director and studio can chose from, but they never do.

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Superhero movies aren’t the only part of Hollywood missing out on LGBT diversity, but many other parts of Hollywood and genres of film have been getting increasingly open, with many more featuring lead LGBT characters. Superhero movies, however, have been distinctly heteronormative.

Something that director Mike Buonaiuto and his team hope to change.

“This project has been completely created by volunteers. We hope that we can demonstrate to the studios that there is a huge audience for accurate LGBT portrayal on the big screen, and it won’t deter cinema-goers to buy tickets.”

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Coming off a week where the hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend trended and received a great deal of media attention (made all the more interesting after a certain reveal occurred), it’s hard to argue with them.

And to those detractors that are sure to come out of the woodwork to hit the comments sections stating that as heterosexual viewers they couldn’t POSSIBLY relate to an openly LGBT superhero or plot, why not? We the LGBT audience have had to relate to heterosexual characters for decades. We even have to see characters that do openly represent us erased or turned into straight characters, so isn’t it time we had some on the big screen too?

The trailer, from Kane Surry, George Longworth, Conor Boru, Mike Buonaiuto, Lauren Kay-Lambert, Leighton Cox and the rest of the Shape History team can be viewed below, and you can add your voice here.

Joe Glass is a Bleeding Cool contributor and comics creator. He’s the writer and creator of LGBT superhero series, The Pride, which is available on its own online store and on Comixology. He is also the co-writer of a horror comedy set in South Wales called Stiffs, which is available here and on Comixology. 

#LGBTSuperheroes Say It’s Time For All Superheroes To Be Portrayed Accurately

Failing At Kickstarter? Be Yourself And Keep Trying, It Is The True Indie Market.

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Michael Koch writes,

You might want to skip this article if you are looking for tips on success on Kickstarter. That’s not me. (Just google a fellow named Grek Pak for that) But I think what I have to say might interest those who wonder if my Kickstarter doesn’t get funded, what then? Will I be humiliated? Do I crawl under a rock and never try anything again? (maybe but that’s the wrong lesson to learn. Read any success book. It’s not fun but failing is part of the process.) Are the creators who didn’t make it bitter and broken? (if they are, they didn’t appreciate the chance they were given with this platform. This is the ultimate Indie market and they can try, try again.)

I’m just here to give some impressions and advice for others who didn’t make it but wonder if it’s worth it to keep trying. I love the guys who have 4 failed kickstarters but still keep trying to release books. That may be me someday. It is the fact that they can do that and have legitimate chance at success every time that makes comics exciting and unpredictable on the Kickstarter platform. Actually, it’s a platform that never really gets that crowded. As hard as it is to do a comic, running a successful campaign on Kickstarter might be just as difficult. So that alone shakes down the numbers. Money, real work, endless calculations, failure and pride are involved.

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At this writing, I am about about at the halfway mark for my Kickstarter project – The Cosmic Survivor: The Hunt for Nebulon #1. My Kickstarter has 5 backers. I know 3 of them. Two are not married to me. The handful of friends I have don’t read comics and still seemed perplexed that I like them. My mom and sister don’t transact on the internet. One brother read comics a long time ago, another thinks it’s a goofy hobby of mine. My mother-in-law in Japan heard about my Kickstarter and now she and her best friend want to contribute but they don’t know how to use a computer or shop online. My wife keeps telling them that mailing me a check is not how Kickstarter works. So they are recruiting the bartender at their karaoke bar to back her hapless son-in-law with his “manga”. To tell the truth, now I’m actually worried that I’ll get a anonymous $6000 donation out of the blue by a generous backer who won’t read my comic or want a poster. Sure, I could use the cash but the idea is to do a print run and win actual readers with addresses that will read my comic when I mail it to them. And that they will like it enough to want the next 3 or 4 issues.

It’s all a big mess but I’m trying. This is what bringing your project life on Kickstarter is all about. You leave the dream world of your creativity when the lever is pulled and you drop right into the cold bucket of reality that exists in the business world. You are selling your fantasy to actual Iive buyers who may take a pass or take the chance to help you get going. There really is no in between. Some creators drop into a warm ocean full of money and are swimming with mermaids. Others are gargling all the way to the bottom cursing at the partying yachts above from the murky depths of defeat. The second scenario sounds bleak but the truth is you never really drown. You can resurface and dive back in again as many times as you want. All the wiser as you make adjustments each time you try. Art and business is a tough mix so anything you learn to make that happen is a worthy education.

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Some thoughts on my approach to Kickstarter

I planned months in advance for my first Kickstarter. It is live now but it is struggling and not looking good. And contrary to all the good advice out there (like Greg Pak’s) I made nothing simple. It’s just not the way I think. As a painter and an artist, I am full of these burdensome Baroque tendencies. Minimalism doesn’t come easy to me. I decided to make the goal of my first print run to be a Treasury sized comic, that is an extra large comic size that is almost double the standard size that nobody does anymore. So this approach doubled my printing, my shipping and my book costs. But I thought it was doable. I liked the experience my old Treasury Comic so much that I wanted to do one myself except this would be for my grand space adventure, The Cosmic Survivor: The Hunt for Nebulon. A mini-series in the Imax of comics, the Treasury sized edition! It’s Kickstarter, not Image or Marvel. Why not try it?

That made it a big, fat hard sell right out of the gate for a guy who’s never worked in comics and has no social media following. All because I thought it was cool. When I was a kid, I remember how dazzled I was when I stepped into Newbury Comics in Harvard Square and came across DC ’s lavish launch of “The Omega Men”. It had its own decorated stand in the center of the store full of gleaming #1’s on the high quality stock paper with a glorious cover bursting with dynamism and brilliance. It featured a new space team unlike anything I’ve seen before. I had a thing for space teams – the Imperial Guard, the heralds of Galactus, Legion of Superheroes, Omega Men. That comic launch made a real impression on me so I wanted to do something like that when it came time to do my space epic. That’s the thinking behind it. Not practical but motivating. So my idea was to make mine on high quality paper in the treasury size and then I’ll make the first film trailer for a space comic that I know of. Added to that, I embarked on an edition of 10 poster rewards just for this Kickstarter. I might not get funded but if my project goes out, there will be fireworks in the sky and trumpets blaring as my ship crashes back in from orbit. The Cosmic Survivor deserves no less!!!

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My big idea, make a series of posters as rewards

I made a series of posters with idea of supporting the Kickstarter as rewards. I made 10 posters for this Kickstarter project. Six for the main campaign and four others as potential stretch goals if that ever happened. I treated this like a big movie project pretending I was the marketing team for the next Star Wars or Ridley Scott sci-fi movie. Early in the process, I had no ideas for rewards, then I thought “Why not posters!” You see, my comic has a brutish space hero with cannons in the place of his hands and feet, with a cyclops eye and a sort of antenna afro. He warps through space on top of these Saturn-like rings. My heroine is a space witch with no eyes, nose or mouth that used to be a Greek oracle. She has electric, colored beams in place of her features and operates from a Star Cave. My villain is a vengeful ice monster that terrorizes the universe in the form of a comet. In my story, the space witch has sent out her Star Knights to stop him. They are destined to battle at the edge of the cosmos near the Eridanus Supervoid, a giant void in space that is a billion light years wide. Iif you check Wikipedia, you’ll find that The Eridanus Supervoid is not a product of my imagination but a real cosmic entity and quite remarkable.There are theories that the Big Bang might have started here or it might be an opening to another universe( as Wikipedia says—“there is some speculation that the void may be due to quantum entanglement between our universe and another) I took a lot of inspiration from the works of Ray Harryhausen, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and John Byrne. To be as weird and fantastical as I want to be but use craftsmanship to ground it and flair to make it cool.

So the posters were designed to help the readers visualize what’s inside this world and what is going to happen in this mini-series and get past the initial strangeness of my cosmic characters. I took inspiration from the story about how George Lucas commissioned the artist Ralph McQuarrie to paint concept art for his new Star Wars movie so he could take them with him to 1970’s studio execs to help them visualize and take take seriously the grand plans he had for his movie. Instead of him pitching his screenplay cold turkey —talking about Han Solo, Luke, Obi-Wan, the Jedi Knights, Darth Vader and a big furry dog named Chewy piloting their way towards the Death Star—to executives that existed in the era of the Rockford Files, he had the beautifully rendered Ralph McQuarrie concept paintings to give a cinematic gravity and palpable reality to his movie ideas as he was doing his presentation. His plan worked. McQuarrie’s painting so dazzled the execs that we got four decades of Star Wars in return. So on a smaller scale, there is a real lesson here in marketing your fantasy. Whatever you can do to get other people’s imaginations over the line, you should do it. Be it posters, concept paintings or even making a film trailer for your comic.

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My other big idea, making a film trailer for my comic

I have been an extra on a few feature films and TV shows shot in New York city over the last couple of years —The Transformers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Bourne Legacy, Men in Black. More out of curiosity to see how these movies are made than wanting to be on film. The whole time I knew it would be just a quick shot or a blur in the background so there wasn’t much to worry about. In contrast, filming myself asking for money on Kickstarter is something I just didn’t want to do. No shade on those that are brave or charismatic enough to pull it off but I knew I would not flourish in that situation. It would not go well either for me or the viewer. So my solution was a workaround that turned into a more inspired idea. Why not make a film trailer for my comic? Not the pan and scan on the book with a voiceover that you often see on Kickstarter but a space footage based film trailer that mirrors scenes from The Cosmic Survivor comic. It was amazing that I was able to purchase footage that matched some comic scenes in the story and found some pretty good theme music for the trailer. I thought it came out pretty legit. It took me a month and half to learn After Effects, struggling day by day to figure it out via the modern Library of Alexander of the internet, YouTube. I have been making a living off and on as a designer for years but I always avoided video because it was too hard. But once you push through your learning and get past a few concepts, it’s not that bad. Now I have a movie trailer for my comic and a whole new skill.

The biggest part of my plan was win a “A Projects We Love” favorite button from Kickstarter. If you get that, they float you at the top of the listings and promote you on the site for pretty much the whole month. Not all the projects get funded but most of them do and even get double funding. So it matters. I thought this film trailer idea had to work. I mean who does a feature film looking trailer for their comic? Or how many do you see? I saw fantastic one from Alan Moore filmed liked a David Lynch short where he shows off some real acting skill. And there were a few others but it wasn’t a typical approach. And all the ones I liked got a “ Projects We Love” ranking. So I thought my chances were very good. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. That was a blow and the Kickstarter algorithm is tough on you if you have low backers or you are out of the taste realm of the editorial staff. We all get tossed in the bottom of the barrel for visitors cycling through looking for projects. Moral of the story, one bad miscalculation can sink your whole project but that’s how you learn. You have got to try things. A plan still is a worthwhile thing to have.

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If you don’t get funded, you have still have got something.

If you fail at Kickstarter or just not getting any love, welcome to the club. It is not the end of your dream or your business plan. You just have to rethink, pivot and try again a plan that takes into account what you learned last time. There is nothing in the arts immune from this- an art show, a movie opening, a book launch, a theater production. To me, this is the true Indie market of comics. It so well designed and thought out to sell inventions, art projects, books and more but Comics has its own category in the midst of all this. Indies can always get some heat going here to keep going if they are interesting to their readers and attentive to their customers. There are comics that thrive on Kickstarter that would have slimmer chances anywhere else and no chance with the big publishers. So that in itself is amazing and motivating.

If I don’t get funded or make my goal, this is a list of what I got just for trying this project:

  • A marketable skill in having to learn After Effects to pull off my trailer
  • Learning how set up and think out my own business campaign to fund my art
  • Simplified the pitch my story in the process of the making film trailer. You only have 1 ½ to 2 minutes in trailer time and you’ve got to sum up your story in those parameters. Another handy skill to have..
  • Film trailer for my comic with cool space footage that I will always have up on Youtube. I own a property now.
  • Learned a lot about international shipping which helps the small eBay store I run
  • Created 10 posters which I’m proud of and can use endlessly in all my marketing materials from the web to print.
  • Printed a few posters already. I have just been doing digital comics up to this point. My first time printing anything. Next is comics.
  • Learned how to write an article for Bleeding Cool that related to the creation of my comic. And got their attention by reaching out to them by telling them about my Kickstarter.
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My next Kickstarter is going to be a whole lot easier.

You never know what other bounties may occur so there is value in trying and even failing. If it excites you and makes you want to create art, you should keep at it ieven if its on a low gear. Nobody knows how long it took you in the end, (look up another guy named Vermeer) Just adjust your plan and schedule if the money doesn’t come in but be reasonable about it and get outside more often.

I kind of like this recent tweet from the writer Warren Ellis on why you should stay original. It was nice to see.

See you on Kickstarter!

— Michael D. Koch

Michael Koch is a painter, designer and comic artist that lives and works in New York City. His comic work includes Fun Fun Comics and his recent project: “The Cosmic Survivor: The Hunt for Nebulon” which he is both the writer and the artist.

– – – – – – —

@kochartist | @funfuncomics | @thestarcave

The Cosmic Survivor; The Hunt for Nebulon #1

My Kick Starter: (on now through June 16, 2016)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michaelkoch/the-cosmic-survivor-the-hunt-for-nebulon-1

Trailer on YouTube

https://youtu.be/kf17P-qp8Pk

Website:

cosmicsurvivor.com

Twitter: @thestarcave | Tumblr: thestarcave | Instagram: thestarcave

Failing At Kickstarter? Be Yourself And Keep Trying, It Is The True Indie Market.

Brazilian Studio Cancels Contract With DC Comics Artist Over Rape Comments

The impeachment procedures in Brazil has led to all manner of voices being heard on the political scene, including that of some rather far-right wing politicians, who both oppose president Dilma and progressive social movements, such as feminism and  gender identity.

Then came with this news, about a 16 year old young woman who was raped by thirty-three men in Rio.

This led to the age-old familiar claim that the woman was in some way to blame for this gaining currency.

12804651_1269199993096014_137348604054133867_nThat included DC Comics freelance artist Allan Goldman, who posted to Facebook,

What happens if the 30 rapists claimed they are women?

According to the leftist gender ideology, a person is what you feel, and your biology does not matter. The society is obliged to accept this decision, if not is fascism!

How the Court will hear case of a woman who was raped by 30 other women?

I was curious now.

I think all sorts of people might like to answer his curiosity.  I’m going to go with, it would be exactly the same.

Chiaroscuro Studios, which represented Goldman with the American publishers have, as a result, terminated their arrangement with him, saying  “We decided to terminate the relationship with artists not aligned with values that, for us, are absolutely non-negotiable”.

Goldman co-created the series Nox for Space Goat Productions as well as working on Superman, Action Comics, Teen Titans, Countdown and Future’s End for DC Comics.

His avatar references the Brazilian politician Jair Bolsonaro, also a rather controversial figure when it comes to talking about rape

Brazilian Studio Cancels Contract With DC Comics Artist Over Rape Comments

Future Quest And Vikings Get 2nd Prints, Spider-Man/Deadpool Gets A 6th!

Future Quest #1, the first of DC Comics’ new line of Hanna-Barbera comic books has sold out and gone to a second print, shipping on the same day as issue 2, June 22nd.

But it really is Spider-Man/Deadpool‘s day.

With Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 getting a 6th printing.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #2 getting a 5th printing.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #3 getting a 4th printing.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #5 getting a 2nd printing.

While Spider-Man/Deadpool #4 is clearly just lazing around content with its existing 2nd printing. What a slacker!

And Vikings #1 from Titan Comics also gets a second print…
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Future Quest And Vikings Get 2nd Prints, Spider-Man/Deadpool Gets A 6th!

DC Universe Rebirth Just Got Yet Another Flash. And Another Batgirl (Justice League 3001 Spoilers)

IMG_2871Justice League 3001, the adventures of semi-cloned female versions of the Justice League in the far future that doesn’t take itself too seriously, has its final twelfth issue today. It’s not alone.

DC Comics has Rebirth. Marvel Comics has whatever-will-follow-Civil War II. And both Marvel and publisher are entering a period where a bunch of their comic books are hitting their final issues – and quite a lot of them are out today.

And with DC Universe: Rebirth we see a world with three Flashes – Barry Allen and two Wally Wests. Well, we’re about to get a fourth. And a second Batgirl.

Because, rather than wrapping up the storyline neatly while leaving the characters available for other creators to use – the big climactic battle of the series stops in mid-fight as both the characters Batgirl and Flash are taken out of their timeline and dumped in the DC Universe present day.

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The big bad hasn’t been defeated, the fight is still going on a thousand years away, and now Flash and Batgirl are trapped in the present day.

You know, there’s a vacancy for a Batgirl in Burnside. And what’s one more Flash among friends?

 

DC Universe Rebirth Just Got Yet Another Flash. And Another Batgirl (Justice League 3001 Spoilers)

Opening The Valiant Comics Time Capsule For 2016 (SPOILERS)

A lovely summer’s day to receive a massive box from Valiant Entertainment.

Inside was the Valiant Time Capsule, sent out to retailers to promote 4001AD. They will get the keys to open their time capsule with the publication of #4.

Except I got my copy through the post.

With the keys.

Guess what I did….

Opening The Valiant Comics Time Capsule For 2016 (SPOILERS)

A Quarter To Midnight – A Few Thoughts About DC Universe: Rebirth #1… And Justice League #50

It’s on sale. Forbidden Planet in London opened a couple of hours ago. DC Universe: Rebirth #1 is on the shelf, along with a bunch of other comics. Now Advance copies of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 have been dissected by a number of sites, but I think there’s plenty more to talk about.

Continuity technicalities first.

Yes, you should read Justice League #50 and Superman #52 first, especially the former. A number of the surprises in Rebirth #1 are actually revealed in Justice League #50, Rebirth #1 just follows them up.

Especially since there’s a presumed appearance of Dr Manhattan there as well as in DC Universe: Rebirth…

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However, it will make for a challenge for the continuity folk. We wondered if the recent run of Superman losing his secret identity and powers, as well as his relationship with Wonder Woman being on the rocks happened before his journey to Apokalips in Justice League. Or if it was the other way round, and there were conflicting notes either way. Well, we are still none the wise, both comics seem to dovetail into DC Rebirth. But there is a scene in Justice League that suggests it is, at least, ahead of the recent story in Superman in which he dies. And it’s all down to his time on Apokalips. So there’s that at least.

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And there’s even some cheeky lampshading of the new Green Lantern, getting ahead of the internet commentators.

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But let’s get back to DC Universe Rebirth. It  starts, and ends, with the story of a watch. One that belonged to Barry Allen’s grandfather and passed down the line to a certain Wally West. And intricately detailed and portrayed – something common in this title. Ethan Van Sciver, Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez, all well known for their intricate pen lines. And it’s a look that defines the artists that Geoff Johns most likes to work with at DC. And the cogs all turn so smoothly..

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And that is what this comic book is, a watch, that needs fixing.  A continuity that needs rewriting. A comic book publisher that needs mending. And, yes, tapping into a certain comic book that most everyone loves to provide the glue. Does it work? Let’s find out.

Know this, this comic book is full. This is compressed storytelling, ideas after idea after idea thrown at the page before focus moves on. That’s courtesy of one Wally West running through the DC Universe, trying to find a foothold, and leaping from life to life hoping the next leap will be the leap home. The first time this happens, it rather reminds me of a similar scene with the Flash in Batman V Superman.  Just as Bendis has run youthful flashback of Tony Stark to play off the young Robert Downey Jr scene in Civil War, so Geoff Johns is giving us something similar – though if anything, as a whole it reminds me more of Animal Man, trying to contact and influence his previous life.

You can read up on many of those moments, from gay Aqualads to Damian Wayne turning a teenage Teen Titan here, here and here.

So we learn, as we suspected, that Wally West was Kid Flash and was one of the Teen Titans, all forgotten until now.

The Justice Society Of America did indeed exist in the forties and were wiped from existence as we also heard – and we meet an aged Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt, who tells us that it was, in part, down to McCarthy, who told them to “take off your masks!” And yes that’s rather Watchmen too – especially since Thunderbolt was the original model for Ozymandias.

Yes, this is a comic that is drenched in Watchmen. We’ve already given you an earlier theory that states that Geoff Johns has been placing Watchmen characters in the New 52 for a whole now.

Now. How meta do you want to get? Could you see Dr Manhattan as Dan DiDio, a cold, unfeeling aloof creature who took the life from the DC Universe, who made it darker, who robbed it of its essence, its joy and its history – and it’s up to Geoff now to try and put it all back?

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Or is this blaming the likes of Watchmen and the Dark Knight for darkening superhero comic books, and Rebirth is a way to get rid of that taint?

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Or could you see how drenched this comic is with Watchmen, opening and closing with the watch, the death of Pandora like Rorschach, the clock ticking backwards away from midnight, away from disaster, back to a quarter to midnight.

In the original Watchmen, Manhattan was a stand-in for the reader, the powers of the gods over time and reality, that were shared with the reader of the comic book. We were the ones who watched the Watchmen, we could stop, start, go back or just roll it up and stick it down out back pockets.

That is not the case here. Manhattan is the bad creative choice. The numbercruncher, the beancounter, who has seen one thing work and tried to make everything like that. Who has tried to exploit creators and make wide-sweeping decisions that have affected everything – and now need fixing.

Which is ironic as by putting this kind of work with the opposition of at least one of the  Watchmen creators, is exactly that kind of decision. This is a comic book with a message that is anti-corporate and pro-creator, and using characters ripped away from their creator all those years ago to make that point. Frankly, it feels as there is an inherent disrespect for that work, with Watchmen being used as a cog, a lever, a means to an end. If falls into the trap of being about something negative, but then becoming that negative thing itself, the snake eating its own tail.

But yes, so much of this comic is about teasing.  Constantine is helping Swamp Thing bring back Abby Arcane. Gotham and his partner are preparing to go to war. Baby Darkseid. Geoff Johns has spent time with all the writers of the DC Rebirth books. Look for his seeds to sprout in the weeks to come.  How long will he be gone? Well, someone has to write JSA don’t they?

There are two big questions for me that hang in the air. Firstly – how did the blood stained Comedian badge get into the bat cave, and does that mean that the Comedian is one of the three Jokers, and does that mean the Joker got into the Batcave after all? Picking up on that possibility that Scott Snyder left dangling?

Oh and how exactly did Wally West’s watch get lost on Mars, ready for a possible Dr Manhattan to put it back together again?

IMG_2849And this equally symbolic? A Manhattan and all that he might represent in this story can piece together a piece of clockwork. But doing such to a human being, to a life, to a story, is something else entirely… is that what was done to the New 52? And now being undone.

I think everyone is going to have a theory on this one. But it’s a ridiculous, surprising silly comic book, the emotional impact will depend on your involvement in the different characters. For me, the Watchmen integrations into the DC Universe gave me my strongest reaction – one of gut ache. But I have to admire the chutzpah of the man. And hope he takes precautions against the Moore curse that is no doubt heading Geoff Johns’ way.

Also, I really need to send him a copy of Watchmensch now.

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 by Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Siver, Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Phil Jimenez is published at midnight Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

A Quarter To Midnight – A Few Thoughts About DC Universe: Rebirth #1… And Justice League #50

The Witcher 3: Blood And Wine Gets A Launch Trailer

The Witcher 3 is concluding soon with the Blood and Wine DLC impending. From everything we’ve seen, it looks pretty substantial, much as the last release was.

To get you all jazzed for it, here is a launch trailer to give you the lowdown on the DLC. It seems pretty varied, with all kinds of nasties featured. Geralt looks to be on the quest of a particularly notable monster here, and the dude has fought some pretty notable monsters in his time.

Take a look at it here:

Click here to view the embedded video.

The Witcher 3: Blood And Wine Gets A Launch Trailer