TCR: Checking out the Big 3 Publishers – DC’s Detective Comics #2, Marvel’s X-Men: Schism #5, and Image’s The Last of the Greats

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 Detective Comics #2

We’re officially into the #2 issues of the DC New 52s. With sales still high, so are expectations that these comic books are going to maintain a level of quality that will keep readers, old and new alike, hooked. Well I can tell you this much – Detective Comics #2 is still pretty F’ed up. They really like to get you with the cliffhangers on the last page with this series!

And, just like #1, this was an excellent comic book. – Well written, paced, drawn, and developed. The story begins with Bruce Wayne, and THIS side of the Batman’s life. He is really trying to put all his business endeavors into building up a better Gotham City. This process will include fellow the successful technological industry business mind of Hugh Marder, whom we are introduced to in this issue. He is athletic, good-looking, and extremely confident. What his greater role in this series will be is yet unknown. We are also introduced to reporter (DC really loves their female reporters) Charlotte Rivers. All I really have to say about her is that she provided further evidence that Batman is, quite frankly, a bit easy – if you know what I mean.

Finally the Dark Knight puts his Bruce Wayne persona away and hops on his motorcycle in persuit of the escaped Joker. If you remember, the Joker has escaped from Arkham Asylum … and he left his face behind. Was he a victim or was this planned? Batman has no idea, but he is certainly going to find out. More importantly he is on a mission to find a missing little girl who is tied up in all of this chaos. We aren’t really sure if she’s alive or dead – but if she’s dead, it was not a peaceful death.

Worth continuing? Batsolutely. (Sorry. I can’t help myself sometimes.)

 

 

X:Men-Schism #5

Scott and Logan have had been involved in a pissing contest since the moment they met back in the 70s. They are each alpha males. They were each in love with the same woman. And they each had the ear of Charles Xavier at one point or another. Of course, through all this manly competition, they have grown to be good friends. But they are of very different mindsets on just about everything – and the current situation just can’t handle this divide.

The mutant population is practically non-existent since M-day. The world is overwhelmingly anti-mutant – more than ever before. Sentinels are crawling over many of major countries in the world, and almost every active X-man is in international territory dealing with this crisis. So therefore no one is home when a Sentinel comes knocking on Utopia’s door except for Scott, Logan, (a bunch of indisposed X-Men in the hospital wing who don’t really count) and the kids.

The kids? The kids consist of the five mutants who make up Generation Hope, as well as what’s left of the forgotten generation before them – So Pixie, Hellion, Dust, Prodigy, Anole, Gentle, Rockslide, and Trance. This is the issue where Wolverine and Cyclops really ask the primary question of the Schism – should the children be made to fight? While the two of them literally tear each other apart over this argument, the Sentinel reaches the island and the kids make the heavy decision that they will fight it and step into their roles as X-men.

Each side of the Schism has its point – Cyclops realizes that there are very few mutants left in the world. Every part must be played and every power must be utilized for their survival. Wolverine believes that the adults, who have been in the thick of the fight for years, should be protecting these kids against a world that wants to see them dead. The X-men should protect their innocence, not throw them into the foray and bloody their hands before they are even out of puberty.

Here’s where I get confused … the X-men have ALWAYS utilized kids in their battles. The First Class? Kids. Iceman was only 13 years old I believe. The New Mutants? Kids. Kitty Pryde? 13. – And they all saw their fare share of the battlefield. In fact, that’s what Xavier gathered them to prepare them to do! Now, I had thought that Wolverine’s point was that children shouldn’t kill. That I understood. The X-Men have been moving towards a “do what you need to do to survive” mentality which is a far cry from their traditional role of avoiding killing at any cost. So when 13-year-old Idie killed two men to win a battle at Cyclops’s urging, I understood Wolverine’s anger.

But the enemy in this issue is a Sentinel and therefore not alive. Of course adults should go in first – but Wolverine is acting like the concept of throwing kids into battle is something completely new and heinous to their team (which in the real world of course it would be, but my point remains that they have ALWAYS done this).

So the Schism finally happens. Wolverine takes those who have chosen his team and moved them back to New York at the site of the old Xavier institute, where he believes the X-men had their morals straight …. but again I’m confused. Because Xavier was the one using kids in the first place.

So in the end I’m still rooting for Wolverine’s team. But that’s mostly because I think he has better characters in his titles. I still don’t really understand this argument …

 

 

The Last of the Greats

This is a new Image title that just debuted this week. Joshua Hale Fialkov is the writer and I’m a huge fan of his (which you probably could tell if you read my previous interview with this author). He takes regular ideas and makes them different somehow. It’s like you can’t put your finger on it – but he makes the ordinary unique.

The Last of Greats is about what happens when super entities want complete control in return for complete peace, and that concept terrifies humans to the point of destroying their protectors. Then an invasion happens, and suddenly humans need heroes again – and therefore mankind must come crawling to ask the last remaining of the “Greats”, the heroes to save them.
He’s not quite so complying. While he’s not exactly angry that the humans killed his brothers and sisters, he looks at the humans as so far inferior that he has no motivation to help them. He ridicules them. He demeans their reasons behinds their actions. He demeans the human race as a whole – then agrees. Sort of.

I really liked this comic book. I don’t want to say anymore, because the ending needs to be read for itself, but this book certainly has promise. The art, by Brent Peeples, was simple, yet effective. The character development was minimal – but that was OK for this particular book. Shock value was used, but not exploited.

I would categorize this book as “unique” and I certainly recommend.

 

 

 

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