Posts Tagged ‘Lex Luthor

20
May
12

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 266: The Ultimate Villain Countdown

It’s time for another Showcase Countdown! This week, the boys each give their own top ten lists for the greatest villains of all time, then count down the ultimate list as voted on by the Showcase listeners. Tune in to find out whose villainy takes the top prize! In the picks, Mike goes with Superman #8, Kenny takes Aquaman #8, and Blake praises Fantastic Four #506.1. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 266: Ultimate Villain Countdown

19
Dec
11

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 249: A Pair of Farewells and Christmas in Gotham City

Blake comes at you this week to say farewell to two comic creators who passed away this week — the legendary Joe Simon and the incredible Eduarto Barretto. On a lighter note, the holidays have hit Gotham City big-time this year, and Blake looks at Batman: Noel, All New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #14, and Batgirl #4. He stays in Gotham for the picks with the incredible Batman: The Black Mirror. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 249: A Pair of Farewells, and Christmas in Gotham City

20
Jul
11

Classic EBI #99: The Makings of a Universe

For years now, I’ve maintained a steadfast and unbroken tradition of not being at San Diego Comic-Con. This is not for lack of desire. So today, I take a look at the stuff happening in San Diego this year I wish I could be a part of…

Everything But Imaginary #407: What I’ll Miss in San Diego

But moving back in time, it’s January 25, 2005 and I’m taking a look at just how tight the continuity of the DC Universe has become in the last year or two. I’ll leave you guys to decide in this counts as irony or not.

Everything But Imaginary #99: The Makings of a Universe

I believe in credit where credit is due, so you’ve really got to give Stan Lee props for really creating our current concept of a superhero “universe.” Oh, superheroes had met before. All of the top National (later DC) Comics heroes had come together as the Justice Society of America in the 40s. Superman and Batman frequently appeared together in World’s Finest Comics. Even Atlas (later Marvel) had their collections of World War II-era characters like the Invaders and the All-Winner’s Squad.

But it was Stan the Man, writing approximately umpteen billion Marvel comics every month (this record would be held until Brian Michael Bendis broke into the business) that really started to forge a world with his creations. The adventures of the JSA didn’t impact the characters in their own titles, nor did the various team-ups that had happened. What Stan did, and did so well, was begin to mix events from various comics. If the Thing lost his powers in Fantastic Four, then he’d be powerless if the team happened to appear in Avengers that month. If Spider-Man was on the run from the law (in other words, if it was a day of the week ending in “y”), Foggy Nelson may have mentioned it in Daredevil. This was nowhere more evident than when Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver — villainous foes of Iron Man and the X-Men, reformed and joined the Avengers.

These days, though, Marvel has sort of lost its cohesion as a universe. Each of Spider-Man’s three titles seem to exist in their own pocket world and barely connect. Nearly two years have passed in Daredevil during Bendis’s run, while other Marvel titles have only progressed a few months. Why, Magneto took over the entire city of New York at the end of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, and not a single other title even made reference to it. Except for comments in various titles about the events of Avengers Disassembled and the gloriously continuity-heavy She-Hulk title, it’s hard to feel like there’s a Marvel “universe” anymore.

But man, DC is trying to make up for it.

As Marvel’s titles have grown looser and looser, DC’s are getting tighter. And I’m going to warn you right now, this column is about to get spoiler-heavy for half of the books in the DC line, so if you see a title bolded you don’t want to know about, you may wanna skip ahead.

It’s easy to point to Identity Crisis as the genesis of this transformation. Like the ending or hate it, it was a huge storyline that has had an astronomical impact on the DC Universe. Just a month after the story’s conclusion, we’ve already seen fallout everywhere: the death of Robin’s father has impacted his own series, which in turn has impacted the other Batman-family books. It’s also being dealt with in Teen Titans, and dealt with extremely well. The Titans are also dealing with Lex Luthor’s battle armor, lost during that miniseries.

The apparent death of Ronnie Raymond is the very catalyst for the new Firestorm series. As if that weren’t enough, it’s sparked a storyline in Manhunter, as DC’s newest vigilante is trying to hunt the murderous Shadow Thief.

In Flash, Wally West has to cope with the fact that his uncle, the paragon of virtue Barry Allen, was one of a subset of the Justice League that agreed to tamper with the minds of their enemies — and what’s worse, has to deal with restoring an enemy who, in turn, is threatening to turn many of his reformed colleagues like Trickster, Heat Wave and the Pied Piper back to their old dark ways. In Adventures of Superman, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are struggling with the same revelation.

And that’s just the stuff directly from Identity Crisis.What other links are appearing among the many titles of the DC Universe lately?

• After the events of “War Games,” the Birds of Prey have recruited a new member and left Gotham City, impacting every Batman title, particularly Nightwing — because he’s still in love with Oracle. Plus, the cops of Gotham Central are even more hostile towards the caped crusader than ever.

• Speaking of Nightwing, Starfire has quit the Teen Titans to join his team, the Outsiders, to try to help him cope with all the trauma in his life as of late.

• Speaking of the Titans, they’ve linked up with two other titles. Green Arrow’s sidekick, the new Speedy, has joined the team. A few months ago, the young heroes got caught up in a time-travel adventure that wound up restarting the entire universe for the Legion of Super-Heroes, and writer Mark Waid has promised that he and Barry Kitson are doing the new Legion as the official future of the DCU — it’s up to the other writers to get them there.

• In Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman title, we met the all-new (yet all-classic) Supergirl, who’s about to get her own title. There’s also a rumor that she may check in with the Teen Titans herself. Plus, Loeb is currently milking DC properties as diverse as Kamandi, Cinnamon, Jonah Hex and the Freedom Fighters for the current arc in that title. He’s brought back characters that haven’t been seen in years.

• In Wonder Woman’s title, she’s gone blind after a battle with Medusa. When she guest-appeared in Adventures of Superman, not only was she still blind, but she was wearing the same blindfold. Not too hard a trick, of course, since the two books share a writer, but it’ll be more impressive in a couple of months during a promised crossover with Flash.

• Speaking of crossovers and books with the same writer, Bloodhound wound up merged with Firestorm (both books by Dan Jolley) and the Monolith lent a hand against Solomon Grundy to Hawkman and Hawkgirl (two books by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray).

“Okay, Blake,” you’re saying, “We get your point. There are a lot of crossovers. So what?” My, you can be rude sometimes, did you know that?

Here’s the point of all this.

A few months ago a group of five writers, Brad Meltzer, Judd Winick, Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns and Jeph Loeb, conducted an interview where they promsied that they were building the future of the DC Universe. And if you look at the books I’ve mentioned, you see their names all over the place, along with other talented writers like Devin Grayson, Gail Simone, Marc Andreyko, Bill Willingham and others I will feel bad later for leaving out.

Clearly, this is going to be a monumental task, even looking ahead to promised events such as DC Countdown and the enigmatic Crisis 2.

Those stories are going to be the framework of the DC Universe of the future.

What we’re seeing now, across the entire line, is the foundation. We’re seeing the hints, the clues, the groundwork. And knowing that this is what we’re seeing, we get to have all the fun of watching as everything is put together.

Some people, I understand, don’t like continuity that tight. I know that. But for those of us who do, watching as it is created before our eyes is something really really incredible. Something amazing.

Something I once may have even called Marvelous.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: January 19, 2005

While we’re on the subject of those truly remarkable books, I have to give credit again to Geoff Johns for turning out the best comic book of the week, Teen Titans #20. Since the murder of his father and the death of his girlfriend in agonizingly short succession, Robin has tried to repress his emotions in an effort to prevent from becoming more like Batman (which was nice and ironic, since repressing his emotions only made him more like Batman). This issue dances around some action, but at its core is a heartfelt examination of a son’s grief and his desperate attempt to continue forging his own future, and not let it be determined for him.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.

 

 

11
Feb
11

Comic Cover Roulette: Superman #173

For the long version of what Comic Cover Roulette is, read the first post. (Actually, read it anyway. It’s cool.) But here’s the short version: back in the Silver Age, comic book writers would often be given cover art and assigned the job of writing a story to fit. Now, I’m picking out some classic covers and doing the same thing. This time I’m tackling Superman #173, with a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein . And no, I’ve never read this issue, either.

“The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac!”

Metropolis is abuzz with news of a comet that is passing in very close proximity to Earth. Keller’s Comet only approaches Earth orbit once every 350 years, and on this pass the Earth is actually going to move through the comet’s tail. S.T.A.R. Labs asks Superman to fly into the comet as it approaches Earth, using their equipment to take material samples and energy readings. He agrees, of course, but when he’s in the tail of the comet he sees a small robotic satellite, something that is clearly not of Earthly origin. As he approaches it, the robot explodes. The blast is not particularly strong, but the robot is atomized – nothing remains of it. Superman searches for its point of origin, but finds nothing. Eventually, he returns to Earth.

Meanwhile, we turn our attention to Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen. Jimmy wakes up to find himself in a cell on Mars, alone with no memory of how he came to be here. He doesn’t have to wait long to find the answer. As he wakes up, he is greeted by a pair of fiends – Brainiac and Lex Luthor, looking exceedingly pleased with themselves. They reveal their plot to Jimmy – the robot that exploded in the comet was of their design. It did not detonate, but rather broke apart into billions of microscopic nanorobots, each equipped with a camera. The nanobots won’t last long, only until they run out of energy they drew from the comet, but until that happens they will give the villains enough eyes to watch every man, woman and child on Earth. The reason for this plot? Discover the secret of Superman’s true identity. Jimmy is horrified, but also confused. What do they need with him? Luthor smiles. “It’s not you we need, Olsen… it’s this.” He holds up the one thing he took from Jimmy – the signal watch he can use to summon Superman.

The lifespan of the nanobots is very short, so they needed some way to ensure Superman would go into action while the nanobots were active… and how better than to send him to the rescue of his best pal? Luthor activates the watch and they turn their attention to the viewscreens. Brainiac’s computers filter through feeds from billions of nanobots until they locate what he is looking for: Superman’s insignia… and they happen to find it on the chest of Clark Kent, who is changing his clothes in a supply room of the Daily Planet offices. The villains rejoice even as Superman bursts into their Martian hideout.

As he begins to battle the villains, Superman suddenly feels his power begin to wane. At the same time, Brainiac, Lex, and Jimmy begin to feel bursts of power. On the viewscreen, they see everyone on Earth exhibiting weaker versions of Superman’s powers! The comet, Brainiac reasons, must have reacted with Superman’s Kryptonian energy signature when he flew through it. It is now diffusing his power, temporarily spreading it all over the world. The empowered Jimmy and de-powered Superman battle the villains, barely claiming victory. Lex boasts, though, that even in defeat they have won! They saw Clark Kent change into Superman’s costume. They know his secret.

Jimmy begins to laugh. He tells Lex that Clark was wearing the costume to take publicity shots for the Planet later that day. As he was at S.T.A.R. Labs when Superman returned from the comet, he must have absorbed the Man of Steel’s powers earlier than most people. Now that the comet’s energy is fading, Clark and the rest of the world are going back to normal. Clark, as evidence, puts his glasses back on. Without Superman’s powers, he says, his eyesight is again becoming poor.

The Justice League arrives to take Luthor and Brainiac into custody and bring Jimmy and Clark back to Earth. Once Jimmy and Clark are alone, Clark thanks Jimmy for his quick thinking. There is no photo shoot planned, and Jimmy realizes the truth about Superman’s identity. But he swears to Clark that – pal that he is – he’ll keep his secret no matter what.

These characters are, of course, ™ and © DC Comics. I don’t own ‘em, I don’t claim to own ‘em, and I have no intention to use any of these stories for any monetary gain. This is just for funsies. Please don’t sue me.

17
Oct
10

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 192: TV Talk 2010

The fall television season is about a month old, so the boys discuss the new slate of TV shows. What do they like? What are the surprise hits? And what shows have they given up on entirely? Some spoilers await herein. In the picks this week, Kenny loved Action Comics #893, Daniel has an… interesting time talking about The Royal Historian of Oz #2, and Blake is still in love with I, Zombie (specifically issue six). Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp!

Music provided by the Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 192: TV Talk 2010

Inside This Episode:

05
Sep
10

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 186: White Lanterns Have it Easy

This week Blake proves that, when it comes to bringing back the dead, White Lanterns have it easy. Blake manages to resurrect a dead podcast recording so that you can hear the guys talk about the last new Lost content ever (on the season 6 DVD), the upcoming TV season including developments for Smallville and The Walking Dead, the cancellation (and resurrection) of Daredevil, the White Lantern variant covers, the movie Green Lanterns and more! In the picks, Kenny goes with Action Comics #892, Mike digs Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1, and Blake pimps Science Dog Special #1! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Comixtreme.com is undergoing a few technical difficulties, including a glitch to our e-mail. For now, you can e-mail me at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com, and if you’ve sent us an e-mail since August 24, you’ll need to re-send it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Music provided by the Podshow Podsafe Music Network.

Episode 186: White Lanterns Have it Easy

Inside This Episode:

29
Aug
10

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 185: The Unsung Heroes

This week the boys line up another top ten (or seven… or eight…) episode, as they get together to discuss some of their favorite underrated characters from comics, television, movies, video games, and even a book or two without pictures. Which warriors do the guys say just don’t get the respect they deserve? And in the picks, Blake selects Superman/Batman #75 and Kenny digs on Booster Gold #35. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@comixtreme.com!

Music provided by the Podshow Podsafe Music Network.

Episode 185: The Unsung Heroes

Inside This Episode:






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