Kingdom Come (Mark Waid & Alex Ross)
Boy have I been looking forward to re-reading and reviewing this book for your pleasure!
Kingdom Come is one of my all time favourite comics and it is one that has stood the test of time. It goes to some dark places and explores some rather heady subject matter but at the end of the day a sense of hope and a dream of a brighter tomorrow shines throughout the dark. It is a must read for any comics fan, let alone DC Comics fan and it is the perfect book to get non-comic readers engaged in the medium!
This is because it is one of those “grim future” tales where the heroes of your childhood are no longer the same as they once were. The world has lost it innocence and the figures we once held up on pedestals have crumbled and fallen down. Essentially all you need to know to understand this book is who Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and their associated characters and a couple of other members of the Justice League are. Everything else is there for the hardcore fan to pick out in the background and secondary and tertiary characters are usually introduced with just enough information as to understand who they are and what they stand for. It plays on the power of the DC brand and how well everyone knows their main characters. Everyone knows who Supes, Bats and Wondie are. Everyone who does not read comics has some vague idea of who they are informed from seeing them in other media. Everyone has their “they all do good, all the time” view and expectations of them. This book plays on those expectations to brilliant effect while showing you what is at the core of each of the characters even in this post-crime fighting time period.
It is a main stay in any comic book reader’s collection and it is a joy to read every time I pick it up.
Secret War (Brian Michael Bendis & Gabriele Dell’Otto)
I have always thought Secret War was an odd event/mini series. A lot and I mean A LOT of important things happen over its five issue run that shaped the Marvel Universe for the foreseeable future. It introduces a host of new SHIELD characters that play huge roles further down the line and as a whole it is an entertaining spy story that just happens to have superheroes in it. Make no mistake though, this book has one purpose, take Nick Fury off the table. Moving Fury off the chess board allows things like Civil War, Secret Invasion and eventually Dark Reign to take place. This is because we all know that if Nick Fury got even a whiff of the Superhuman Registration Act happening he would stop it well before Cap and Iron Man started beating each other up.
It is also an odd book because due to its name you would think it would somehow be tied to the older and more cosmic Secret Wars and Secret Wars II books. Apparently the lack of an “s” makes all the difference. So if you are expecting gods, monsters and battles of cosmic proportions move along. Still apart from standing separately from pretty much everything Marvel was publishing at the time it is interesting because it is all apparently loosely based on the details of highly classified and top secret intelligence operations told to Brian Bendis, the writer, by a un-named high ranking officer during Brian’s childhood. So make of that what you will. Just swap Latveria providing super villains with enhanced technology with anti-American governments arming terrorists and you get the general idea.
Rich Johnston over at Bleeding Cool has reposted Age of Ultron writer Brian Bendis’ breakdown of what would happend to the Marvel Universe if Hank Pym was killed before creating Ultron. The break down is both interesting and confusing reading as many events and instances cause ripple effects that change or negate other events in the Marvel 616 timeline. Basically if you thought Hank Pym wasn’t important then you are just plain wrong!
A WARNING: This is going to get very confusing, very fast! So if you can’t handle confusing nature of the Marvel Universe’s particular breed of timeline which is a mixture of Plastic Time and Alternate/Multiverse theory then move along. There’s nothing to see here.
Also I speculate A LOT after the breakdown so take everything with a big pinch of salt.
Full breakdown after the jump!
Injustice: Gods Among Us is something I have a passing interest in. I like the look of it and I am a fan of fighting games. However not so much of fan to pay £40 for the privilege to play it. So I am currently waiting for it to drop in price and/or appear on Sony’s PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection. (Are you listening Sony?) As ever with any comic book video game there is a tie-in comic associated with it. Giving the back story and fleshing out the game’s narrative. Setting the stage for the craziness that has all these heroes and villains fighting and killing each other in a DC Universe gone mad! I have be keeping up with the comic by reading re-caps and breakdowns of it via places like scans_daily and tumblr. It seems like the usual alternate reality everyone you know dies in a ridiculous way type deal.
But one death takes the cake. The prize. All the awards for the stupidest thing I have seen in a comic book for a long time. In my daily check of tumblr my feed was filled with reactions. Reactions that range from pure white hot fan rage to literally falling of your chair laughing. Yes it is one of those deaths. A death that will go down in infamy for its levels of stupidity and poor storytelling.
SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP!