Category: The New 52

Merry Christmas to everyone from the staff at Word of the Nerd!

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It’s Christmas Eve and it’s all quiet in the offices of Word of the Nerd today.  The staff is at home with their families and I am here catching up on some things.  It’s tough being the boss, but it is so rewarding and I work with a fantastic group of people.

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Oh boy, oh boy!  Christmas is almost here!  And it’s Tuesday and we usually give you two wallpapers on Tuesdays.  To be honest, some of us are still shaking off the Christmas party hangovers, so the idea for a themed Justice League week was probably done out of laziness.

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Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I am a totalt-shirt whore.  I probably buy two orthree new t-shirts a week.  It causesquite the ruckus with the wife, but I am addicted, it’s a sickness, like hoarding.  So when I heard I can get a t-shirt by theman himself Jim Lee, well I was all giddy with excitement.  Not only am I a big Jim Lee fan, am I also a bigJustice League fan.  This is just thebest of both worlds.  
Check out the press release via The Source along with JimLee’s awesomely geektastic design below.

Back in October, Diamond announced that 2012’s Free Comic Book Day t-shirtwould feature a custom design by legendary artist Jim Lee. Recognizing thatFCBD was – at the time – still a full seven months off, it was a tantalizingtease for those of us anxiously awaiting a glimpse at Lee’s design.

But while we still have to wait until May to pick up our shirts (and ourfree comic books!), we’ve got a special holiday surprise today: a first look atJim’s art. It’s an homage to a classic piece by José Luis García-López,re-imagined with Jim’s redesign of the JUSTICE LEAGUE for DC COMICS-THE NEW 52.

The shirt will be solicited in January 2012′s Diamond PREVIEWS catalog, withproceeds going to support FCBD marketing and promotional efforts.

Isuspect this item will sell out fast come January, so you might want to getyour order in as soon as it comes available in January.  Be sure to check with your LCS about orderingthis one of a kind Free Comic Book Day exclusive goodie.

For more great comic book news, reviews and commentary, be sure to visit Comic Booked today!

 By The Nerd

Superman faces tough criticism from the media and thegeneral public as another strange alien menace attacks Metropolis.  The Nerd reviews Superman #3.

Clark Kent visits the grave of his adoptive parents Jonathan& Martha Kent.  Meanwhile the mediais preparing a piece on him debating whether his presence in Metropolis iscausing more harm than good.  Lois Laneis angry at the anti-Superman bias of the piece and argues for a more balancedand fair slant.
Superman is not the only mystery to Lois and others at theDaily Planet.  Lois and Perry White talkabout the change in Clark Kent’s behavior lately.  Work is the furthest thing from Clark’s mindas he struggles to find any clues to the two recent alien attacks.  Why are the targeting him and why is thestrange language they are speaking sound so familiar.
As Clark rushes to meet his obligations to the Daily Planetanother alien appears.  This new alien ispowered by cold and ice and starts to freeze anything and anyone in itspath.  Superman immediately arrives onthe scene, but isn’t able to do much to stop this latest threat to Metropolis.
Will Superman be able to stop this new threat?  How will he react when he learns a closefriend is involved?  And what do thesealiens want with Superman and Clark Kent?
“Remember the first time we saw that strange shadow up inthe sky?  Silhouetted against the morningsun, it looked to many like some large swooping bird.  Others reported that it was a small plane, orairship or some other UFO.  But no, itwas a man.  A man in a red cape.  A superman…who seemed to drop from the skyout of nowhere.  No history.  No past.”
Never being a big Superman fan in the past, I have to admitnow that I have added this title to my pull like that I am liking this newSuperman.  He’s not quite the big blueboy scout we’ve seen for so many years. This new Superman isn’t quite sure of himself nor do I think he’s fullyaware of just how powerful he really is. In some ways he reminds me of Batman and that isn’t necessarily a badthing.  He’s cocky and a little arrogant,yet unlike Batman, he isn’t always certain of whether he’s doing the rightthing.
This new Superman series makes references back to the newAction Comics which I don’t regularly keep up with.  I like the idea of Action Comics and Supermanhappening at different points in time. This Superman is much different than the one portrayed in ActionComics.  I like what George Perez hasdone with Superman; enough that I added the title to my pull list.  I am completely caught up in this story arcand I am intrigued with what Perez has in store for the readers.
I’m also quite impressed with Nicola Scott’s artwork,particularly in this issue.  The way shedraws Clark and Lois are especially brilliant.  Nicola’s Superman reminds me ever so vaguely of Christopher Reeve when he first appeared as the Man of Steel in 1978.  Her backgrounds are wonderful and the choice of angles helps the storyflow more like a movie than a comic book.
Superman #3, was written by George Perez, with artwork byNicola Scott and Trevor Scott.

This is dedication folks, I am working on Thanksgiving.  As the turkey slowly bakes away in the ovenand the smell travels throughout the house, I am sitting here reading thisweek’s new releases for you.  The firstbook in my list was Batman: The DarkKnight #3 and I have to say that so far it is the best issue of the seriesto date and probably the best book I’ve read out of this week’s releases.
This month’s issue is full of surprises and guest stars asBatman tracks down the source of the toxin being used to give his mostdangerous adversaries super strength. But every lead he tracks down only reveals more questions.  And who is this mysterious White Rabbit andhow is she involved in all of this.
Caught on a subway train with no immediate avenue forescape, Batman takes on Joker who has been bulked up to superhuman proportions.  While White Rabbit looks on, Joker and Batmanbattle; but Batman knows the course of the toxin and Joker only has limitedtime to take him out before the toxin wears off.  Closer examination of Joker’s moves mannerismsreveal that he’s not the real Joker. Clayface has tipped his hand and revealed his secret.  Not long after, the toxin has run its courseand Clayface collapses.
Exhausted from the fight and somewhat trapped beneath theunconscious Clayface, Batman is at White Rabbit’s mercy.  But before she can inject him with something,Batman’s distress call is answered, by The Flash.  White Rabbit quickly runs off as Flashrushes in to Batman’s rescue.
GCPD Lieutenant Forbes has it out for Batman and is vowingto bring him and anyone helping him in; convinced that Batman has compromisedhis investigation.  As usual, The DarkKnight is way ahead of Forbes and turns Clayface over to him.  The gift of a suspect also comes with a warning.  Batman warns Forbes to stay out of his wayand not compromise his work.
Further analysis of the toxin points Batman in an unexpecteddirection, Poison Ivy.  Even though she has been working with the Birds of Prey, Batman doesn’t fully truth them.  He decides to confront Ivy on her turf andbrings Flash along as backup.  Want to knowwhat happens next?  Head down to your LCSand pick up Batman: The Dark Knight #3.
“If you mess with me, I’ll find you and you’ll never see mecoming.  If you compromise my work, I’llknock your down so quickly you’ll think you traveled backwards in time.  If you try to hurt my people…if you so muchas hand them a parking tickets…I’ll be the first shadow you forget to check.”
This new Dark Knight series so far is so much better thanthe pre-reboot series.  This first storyarc has been full of surprises and has left me guessing about what will happennext.  This book hasn’t been nearly aspredictable as most other books.  For meat least it has been a pleasant surprise out of all the other new books.  Paul Jenkins has put together a fantasticopening act while introducing a great new villain in White Rabbit.  I know I am eager to learn more about her andwho or what is behind this super-steroid toxin.
Batman: The DarkKnight #3 was written by Paul Jenkins, penciled by David Finch and inked byRichard Friend.
For more great comic book news, reviews and commentary besure to visit Comic Booked

Birds of Preyjust hasn’t been the same to me since Barbara Gordon left to reclaim the mantleof Batgirl.  But there is good news forus fans.  Batgirl returns to Birds of Prey but can she find a place on a team of outlaws?

Some have said that three is the magic number. If that’s the case,November should be a fascinating month. Here at THE SOURCE, we’ll spotlightingkey third issues from DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 with an ongoing series of poststitled “3 Things You Didn’t Know About DC COMICS-THE NEW 52.” Expect theunexpected–in threes. 

People have been asking me why I’m so quiet when it comes to Birds of Prey.It’s true; I haven’t done many interviews. When friends stop me on the streetand ask about the book, I usually scream “HOLY CAT WHAT IS THAT BEHIND YOU” andscramble in the opposite direction. Um, yeah… I’ve been a bit cagey when itcomes to this comic. Thing is, while Birds of Prey is about the greatcharacters… it’s also about the surprises, and I’m serious about not wanting toruin any of the twists and turns that lie ahead.

But last week, when I visited the DC Comics HQ in New York City, my editorBobbie Chase spiked my Diet Coke, and the last thing I saw was David Hydefilling a syringe with sodium pentothal. Hours later, on my train back toPhilly, I realized they’d pried these three details out of me…

1. Batgirl is back on the team.
Sure, Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl) was reluctant at first. She didn’tnecessarily want to be hanging out with a gang of outlaws (see next “Thing toKnow #2”), and she has serious doubts about at least one member of team (see“Thing to Know #3”). But to Batgirl, friendship trumps everything, and you’llsee exactly how she finds her way to a permanent spot on the team in issues #4and 5.

2. Black Canary, Starling and Katana can’t show their faces inpublic.
That’s because they’re outlaws to one degree or another. Dinah Lance (a.k.a.Black Canary) is wanted for murder. The rumor is she killed a dude with asingle punch, but the truth is far darker and stranger than that…

Evelyn Crawford (a.k.a. Starling) is wanted by at least six differentintelligence organizations for knowing too much about how the world reallyworks. How did she land in this predicament? Well, wait until you meet herUncle Earl—a former spy who raised her, and also tries to kill her every nowand again. (He has Alzheimer’s.)

And finally, Tatsu Yamashiro (a.k.a. Katana) is wanted by Japan’s NationalPolice Agency for her blood-splattered mission of vengeance against the Yakuzafor killing her husband. Criminal profilers in her country think she’s insanebecause she believes the soul of her husband resides in her sword. Thing is,her own teammates aren’t so sure, either…

3. Poison Ivy has turned over a new leaf.
Okay, not really. Pam Isley (a.k.a. Ivy) is still very much a dedicatedeco-terrorist, targeting the people and corporations that mess with MotherEarth. So why’s she hanging out with a bunch of do-gooders like Black Canaryand Batgirl (who doesn’t like, trust, and really even tolerate Ivy)? Prettysoon—say, around issue #5—you’re going to see that Ivy has a little side dealgoing on. Her enhanced biosuit amplifies her metahuman powers to an insanedegree, but also comes at a price. And wait until you see how she plans onpaying the tab…

Hnnnnnuh? What just happened? Why am I on this moving train? Man, I hope Ididn’t say too much back at the DC offices…

– Duane Swierczynski (BIRDSOF PREY)

Let me start by saying, I am enjoying Nightwing. Overall the book is a bit of a mixed bag, but the bottom line is I am going to keep reading it, and I believe writer Kyle Higgins knows what he wants to do with Dick Grayson. If you have not been reading the series Higgins has re-introduced us to Grayson by bringing Haley’s Circus roaring back into his life. What Higgins really excels at here is reminding us how important Haley’s Circus and its people are to Dick. Whether it’s Raya, the love interest returned, and yet another redhead or Zane the former friend turned assassin broker, Higgins is giving us a story rife with personal history. 
The latest issue sees our hero traveling to Chicago to find Zane and investigate his possible connection to the assassin Saiko.  While we do not see much of Saiko in this issue, what we are coming to find is that he may be someone closer to Grayson than any of us realize, and it is certainly compelling. However, like I said before, it is a bit of a mixed bag. Higgins opens the book with a great flashback introducing us to Grayson’s friends and demonstrating the murdered Mr. Haley’s importance to him. But the entire time I was reading it I was distracted by the fact that the memory occurred only five years before. I am struggling to reconcile the idea that in five years Dick watches his parents die, gets adopted by Bruce Wayne, becomes Robin, becomes Nightwing, then Batman, and is now once again Nightwing. This is more DC’s fault than the creative team’s, but the reality is, reminding us it has only been five years only takes away from what Higgins is doing here.

Next we have his interaction with Zane. Again it has its pros in that Zane is introduced as someone who matters to Dick and someone who still cares for Haley’s Circus. Higgins even gives Zane a villainous background, powers, and a former handle, Feedback. But then comes the cons, Feedback uses his powers to subdue Nightwing by making him relive the death of his parents, and other hard moments. As much as this might have sounded great on paper, I think it took away from what could have been a much more powerful exchange between Zane and Dick themselves. This is someone that Dick grew up with, and has now become a villain, an assassin broker, possibly because Dick left the circus. I think exploring deeper into that would have proven more effective in relation to the rest of what Higgins is trying to do. It just the perpetual feeling that there is a really book that is plagued by small miscues and distracters.

The art by Barrows and Pansica is proving to be very good. They especially excel at putting Nightwing in his acrobatic glory against a landscape. The book has a very dark feel in both inks and colors and fits the tone of what the otherwise light hearted Grayson is dealing with. If I had any criticism it is that randomly there will be a face where the proportions are just really off. I think they stand out even more because there are so few of them and they are so comparatively bad in relation to all the other pages. In general the faces and expressions in this book are spot on. The detail that Barrows and Pansica put into some of these heavy moments, like Haley’s funeral or Dick being forced to relive his tragedies, really resonate. You can tell that they, like Higgins, want us to know how important this case and these moments mean to Grayson. Like the writing, the few miscues on the faces just prove to be distracters to what is otherwise fantastic work.
Overall, it is like I said I like this book and will keep reading it. I love the character of Nightwing and cannot wait to see where Higgins and the rest of the team take him. I think that using Haley’s Circus as the focus following the reboot is not only fitting, but powerful, I only hope that these small miscues do not continue and bring down an otherwise very good book.

By Jason Padua

Wonder Woman joins the fray as Superman, Batman, GreenLantern and Flash help fight off the mysterious alien attack.

I realize we’re only three issues into this new Justice League series.  This has been a series that was a success thesecond it hit comic store shelves.  Thefirst issue sold faster than they could be handed out and the issue went intoat least three reprintings.  As a comicbook fan and reviewer, I have been anxious every month for each new issue.  This latest issue was well worth the wait.
The heroes have settled their differences long enough tojoin in combating their common enemy. The horde of savage aliens continues their attack.  Oddly enough they aren’t killing but aretaking hostage, helpless civilians.
Public opinion may prove to be their worst enemy.  People are frightened by the sudden appearanceof all the super humans and one in particular is Wonder Woman.  In addition to her outwardly outlandishappearance, she is a newcomer to our modern civilization.  Her government handler, Major Steve Trevorseems unable to control or contain Wonder Woman or Diana as she prefers to becalled.

A curious stroll through the city turns quickly into afight, which Diana more than welcomes. The aliens attack, attempting to take civilians.  Wonder Woman leaps into action to help savethe people so seem to be so afraid and untrusting of her.

Meanwhile, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Flash arebarely holding their own against the never ending mob of aliens.  Only Superman is able to keep the aliens atbay while Batman and the other attempt to figure out what they are after; butthere are too many even for the Man of Steel. Suddenly Wonder Woman appears to help turn the tide of the battle.
That’s only a taste of what this issue had in store.  If you want to find out more, I suggest youpick up a copy of Justice League #3 before it sells out.  This was probably the best issue yet in myopinion and with the league’s roster nearly complete; Wonder Woman isn’t theonly new addition to the team in this issue.  We also get to witness the somewhat disturbing and tragic birth of another young hero as the story progresses.

The comic dream team of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee make this thestandout issue of the week perhaps even the month.  Amid the ocean of great and positives thingsI have for this issue, I had but only one criticism.  The introduction of Steve Trevor was apleasant surprise, but Lee’s characterization of him make him look more likethe old 1960’s G.I. Joe action figure with the short, stubby life-like hair andless like the character we’re use to.

This new take on Justice League is a fresh and somewhat welcome change to the characters we’ve come to know.  Superman’s complete change of character to include an arrogance that is almost Batman-like; a far cry from the boy scout we’ve seen for years.  Diana’s child-like innocence and hunger for battle makes her somehow more likeable to me.  Hal Jordan’s cockiness and swagger humbled by the knowledge Superman is more powerful than him.  Flash being an all around smart ass are all combined to make up a more likeable and realistic team. It will be fun to see these new characters grow into the heroes they are destined to become.  The fourth issue promises even more surprises and action aswe count down to the reveal of the team’s true enemy, the all powerfulDarkseid.

Hal Jordan enters into an uneasy alliance with Sinestro tohelp him liberate his home world of Korugar from his former Lantern Corps; butthis is a mission one of them will not return from alive.
Hal Jordan once again wields a Green Lantern power ring, butthere are strings attached.  That ring iscontrolled by Sinestro who can take it way or limit its power whenever he seesfit.  Sinestro needs Hal’s help to freeKorugar from enslavement at the hands of the Yellow Lantern Corps, the Corps heuse to lead.
Hal reluctantly agrees to help Sinestro who agrees that onceKorugar has been liberated Hal will get to keep the ring with no restrictions.  Time is of the essence and Sinestro’s plan totake out the Yellow Lanterns depends on precise timing and his ability to holdoff the entire Corps alone while Hal sneaks into the Yellow Central PowerBattery and shut it down.
Sinestro and Hal argue over the possible failure of hisplan, but as usual Sinestro’s confidence and arrogance along with Hal’s stubbornnesscause tension between the two former enemies. Hal simply doesn’t trust Sinestro even though he again wears the ringand uniform of a Green Lantern.  Sinestrodoes nothing to hide his anger and resentment toward the Guardians and Hal forhis re-enlistment into the Green Lantern Corps.
On Oa, the Guardians ponder on their past mistakes anddebate plans for the future.  Now thatGanthet has rejoined the Guardians they are able to clearly see their nextstep.  After their disastrous and costlyfailure with the Manhunters the Guardians now see the Green Lanterns as anotherfailure on their part.  They determinenow is the time to replace the Green Lantern Corps.
The two uneasy allies set out to Korugar to save its peoplefrom enslavement; but as with all well made plans, things don’t always happenas expected.  Hal and Sinestro bothencounter obstacles and the issue comes to a close with one of them losingtheir life.  If you want to know more, Isuggest you rush out to your local comic store and pick up Green Lantern #3 to find out for yourself.
“Every second I pointlessly argue with you, someone onKorugar suffers longer than they need to. You haven’t been able to sort out your relationship with Carol foryears.  Do you really think a briefgoodbye is going to fix things?  What’smore important here:  futilely putting abandage on the gaping wound of your failed romance or saving an entire world?”
As a long time Green Lantern fan, I am pleased with Geoff Johnsand the direction he is taking this series after the DCU reboot.  With most of the GL universe remaining intactit appears to me that this may inevitably fall on Sinestro and Hal Jordon tosave the Green Lantern Corps from being annihilated by the Guardiansthemselves.
I can see this turning into the first big GL event of theDCnU when the entire Corps is called upon to fight for their survival againstthe very beings that created them.  Thiswasn’t a spectacular issue by any means, but it will come down to being apivotal point in what is yet to come for GreenLantern.
Green Lantern was written by Geoff Johns, penciled by Doug Mahnke, inked by Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin and Tom Nguyen.
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