DC’s Event Leviathan Flounders with Finale

Event Leviathan #6 | Written by Brian Michael Bendis | Art by Alex Maleev | DC Comics

The biggest mystery plaguing the DC Universe reaches its conclusion. Who is Leviathan? We finally get our answer.

“I’m sorry, I don’t recognize you,” unfortunately, encapsulates the magnitude of the reveal when Superman used his x-way vision to peek under the hood.

Unmasking the villain needs to be a shocking experience.

Instead, Bendis used the moment to bring an obscure character to prominence.

That could have worked.

However, we never saw Leviathan actually do anything. Explosions, weird energy fields, and the collapse of the intelligence community wielded massive results.

Yet, Leviathan is never seen pulling the trigger himself or getting his hands dirty. He talked a big game and had people do his bidding. If Leviathan was going to roll up his sleeves finally, this was the time to do it. Instead, he retreats once he realized Superman would never join his cause.

I’m sorry, but how many times has Superman been fed the “Tear down the world to make it better” speech?

A lot would be the answer.

Its as if the characters in the book failed to realize something the reader has known about Earth’s greatest hero. I thought something different would have presented itself. Perhaps an argument that was fresh and compelling. Something to make Superman waver, even for a few fleeting seconds, would have given readers something to chew on.

Leviathan was portrayed as someone who is always five steps; however, he put all of his eggs in one red and blue basket. That doesn’t sound very smart al all.

The leaks that appeared online last month regarding Leviathan’s identity were correct.

I hoped they were wrong; however, it seemed too apparent after really thinking about it. The ending of the book is the beginning, as there is more to come from Leviathan. That would have been cool if I actually cared about the person in question. Leviathan peaced out once Superman turned him down.

Why would I be intrigued about any threat he could pose to Supes or the Justice League going forward?

Bendis is in the Leviathan business for the long haul. I hope he can bring something that will have an impact because, unfortunately, this wasn’t it.

Mera: Tidebreaker – Review

Written for and published by Forces of Geek March 2019

Mera: Tidebreaker is the initial offering from DC Comics’ young adult readers imprint, DC Ink. New York Times bestselling author, Danielle Paige, and animator Stephen Byrne collaborate on this tale featuring the future queen of Atlantis.

Yearning for a life that is truly her own, Mera sets out to bring peace between Atlantis and her home of Xebel.

She has to kill an unsuspecting Arthur Curry to accomplish her goals.

The reimagining of the Aquaman mythos doesn’t stop there. Arthur is sans the blonde hair, the inhabitants of the Trench are no longer monstrous creatures, and the beginning of a particular origin story underwent some minor alterations.

However, every change that was introduced is in service to the journey of the titular character.

Not to be stereotypical of the YA genre, but Mera and Arthur’s blossoming kinship was a given before the first turn of the page.

Strong character building by Danielle Paige established clear motivations that made the antagonists and protagonists earn every narrative inch. Obviously, Mera wasn’t going to kill Arthur; however, her observation of his kindness slowly chipped away at her cold murderous intent.

Make no mistake about it, Mera oozes teenage royalty. Still, while another princess might be overly concerned with their ensemble for the next big gala, Mera makes it clear that she is more than just a pretty dress. Light comedy sprinkled throughout the book such as Atlantean vernacular, “You got to be sharking me,” will bring about a few smiles along with some fish out of water hijinks.

It would have been easy for Mera to get lost in her own story, but Paige gives the multitude of subplots plenty of time to breathe and marinate. The final act is chock-full of revelations, but it is beautifully synchronized with the main story.

Stephen Byrne’s artwork exhibits a submersible pallet serving as a constant reminder of the books oceanic backdrop. Mera’s hair stands out like a red rose in a black and white portrait. This creative choice augments her presence, especially if the reader remembers nothing about Mera’s heroism and convictions.

Despite Aquaman being massively popular right now, producing a Mera-centric story was a gamble. Mera is a secondary character who doesn’t have a celebrated story such as Supergirl, Catwoman or even Black Canary. Geoff Johns made Mera an essential part of Aquaman’s New 52 run. However, no one has ever talked their favorite Mera moments on the playground.

Danielle Paige’s story is a big leap in that direction. The exploration of duty, love, valor, and liberty through the eyes of underwater royalty works exceptionally well. If the goal of this graphic novel is to make the reader a bigger Mera fan than they were going in, mission accomplished.

Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound Special #1 Review

                                     Written for and published by Forces of Geek October 2018

Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound Special #1 | Writer: Mark Russell | Artist: Rick Leonardi | Publisher: DC Comics

An image of the KKK waving hello to Huckleberry Hound as they drive by his house on a Mississippi evening utterly conveys the edgier settings of the critically acclaimed Hanna-Barbera/DC Comics one-shot crossovers.

Set against the turbulent backdrop of the early 1970’s, John Stewart, a rookie in the Green Lantern Corps goes home to Earth where the political upheaval of the Vietnam War and the violence of the Civil Rights movement confronts him at every turn.

Many of us have probably wished at some point in our lives for a superhero to leap out of the comics and fix the world’s problems.

Russell examines the pros and cons of this real-world scenario as for whether Stewart, who wields the most powerful weapon in the universe should use it to stop racial atrocities.

The narrative uses a struggling Huckleberry Hound as the voice that is begging for the power ring to be used, while other plot elements argue the opposite.

Stewart’s struggle to resist smacking down those who worship evil’s might is what brings everything together to produce an entertaining and provocative story. Artwork checks all of the boxes and makes excellent use of expressive character work to convey what word balloons can’t.

It can be hard to take these one-shot comics seriously because the Hanna-Barbera side of things is a far cry from what we used to know. Putting that aside makes a pairing such as Green Lantern and Huckleberry Hound an exceptional way to approach serious issues without trivializing them while using a unique hook to provide enough of the escapism readers look for in comic books.

Rating: A-

Justice League: Review

Divisive is the name of the game when it comes to DC Comics’ films. Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, and Suicide Squad all received mixed reviews. Wonder Woman was a bonafide hit with everyone, but now it’s back to the status quo with the latest film in the series, Justice League.

Digital mustache removal, crappy CGI, inept story, and a botched Superman resurrection led to a massive critical lambasting of the film. Bad reviews don’t scare me out of seeing a movie because I need to see it for myself before casting judgment.

Is Justice League another step down for the DCEU? Is Justice League worth your time and hard-earned money? I’m here to report that Justice League is freaking amazing despite any minor problems, and these issues do not distract from an enjoyable movie. Continue reading “Justice League: Review”

Justice League Dark: Review

With Doctor Strange bringing the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the realm of sorcery and magic, Warner Bros. Animation does the same with their latest direct to home video offering through DC Comics, Justice League Dark.

DC animated films have been able to hit a lot of notes that their live action counterparts have missed. Of course, the bigger the budget, the larger the amount of creative red tape that will wrap itself around a project such as David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.

Justice League Dark makes great use of its sixty minute run time in setting up the story, introducing the characters and establishing their motivations to get the viewer invested in when the team finally comes together in the climatic showdown.

It’s a formulaic approach to storytelling with the key elements executed to their desired result as the film opens with random acts of murder that end up being not so random. The mystical element to these atrocities calls for a different solution outside of Superman and company.

Origins of Suicide Squad

With the theatrical release of Suicide Squad in theaters this week, it’s only fitting that we go a little retro and explore the comic book origins of the murderous band of thieves and rogues.

I saw the movie last night and it was interesting to see the differences between what director David Ayer produced on screen and what writer John Ostrander presented on the printed page. Everyone knows the story by now, but for the ill-informed, here’s a quick review.

While held in captivity, some of the world’s most notorious super-villains are forced into the ultimate ultimatum by taking part in missions that are nearly impossible to survive. If one agrees, good. If one does not, they go anyway, and if you try to run…BOOM, your head explodes.

Sadly, there will be no mention of Harley Quinn since these stories take place prior to her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series (1992).

Click here to read the entire review at Forces of Geek.com

The Greatest vs. The Man of Steel

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The world lost a true icon when Muhammad Ali passed away last Friday after a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. The three-time world heavyweight champion transcended the sport of boxing in part due to his memorable in-ring battles.

“The Fight of the Century” against Joe Frazier divided a nation while “The Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman united another. Perhaps, in his most courageous outing, “The Fight to Save Earth” pitted Ali against the Man of Steel himself, Superman.

CLICK HERE to read more of this column at the all new Forces of Geek.com

The “Martha” Ending in Batman v Superman

I wanted to post a quick commentary on a particular aspect of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. People are strongly divided on how the fight between the two titular heroes ended. Some feel it was a cheesy byproduct of lazy writing while others believe it was the emotional crux of the film.  Continue reading “The “Martha” Ending in Batman v Superman”

My Declaration for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

batman_v_superman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice needs to be a great film, not a good film because good isn’t good enough. While this movie will establish the shared DC Films Universe, planting the seeds for future flicks with an Easter egg here and a cameo there is ancillary.

I want a movie that is worthy of the titular characters on the marquee while awakening my eight-year-old self. This film needs to finally settle every “who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman” argument I’ve ever had without dis-serving the iconic reputation of either hero. Continue reading “My Declaration for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”