DC Comics Have Me Collecting Again

Like a lot of young boys (and girls, too, actually), I loved comics.

My brother used to have a big box full of comics and I would read them whenever I was able to, even though e wasn’t too fond of me touching them due to my habit of “enhancing” them by practicing my signature in them, or adding some extra colour with my crayons. I don’t even want to think about how much some of them could be worth today.

My brother was a big DC Comics fan. He had all the usual stuff, like Superman, Batman and a couple of wonder Woman tossed in there. He also had quite a few Brave and the Bold, Green Lantern/ Green Arrow and others, including some little-known titles with characters like Black Orchid and Prez.

I have very clear memories of reading those comics and imagining what it would be like to have super powers. I also for some reason thought that there was a far-off land where Superman and Batman were the rulers, complete with thrones and crowns. Don’t ask me which one of them was the queen.

My brother didn’t care for Marvel comics, aside from the Fantastic Four, which I considered one of the most boring comics in existence at the time. Despite that, when I first started hounding my parents for comics of my own, I was drawn to Marvel for the most part. Spider-Man was easily my favourite hero and although there were others that I liked quite a bit as well, he was the only one whose comics I collected.

Until high school.

Sometime in grade 8, I started reading comics regularly, spending my own allowance on them. I started with Spidey, of course, but on a whim, I picked up a copy of the first Wolverine limited series #1  largely because I knew the character from the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon. I liked it much more than I expected to and bought the rest of the series. After that, it only made sense that I should start reading X-Men. That lead me to New Mutants and everything just ballooned from there. I picked up a handful of DC comics, including the near-mandatory purchase of the death of Superman, but the only DC comic I read regularly was Shadow of the Bat, because I was able to start it at issue 1. Today, however, things have totally reversed themselves.

I started feeling nostalgic about comics a few years ago. I would go out occasionally and pick up a trade, or a limited series, but I never really collected anything. Part of it was the price; comics had become quite a bit more expensive over the years and I feared that I would end up with 25+ titles per month again, which would be too expensive. The other thing, however, was that the modern storylines just didn’t interest me. I didn’t care for the way heroes had become progressively darker, or how villains like Venom (or even worse, Carnage) had become so popular. I had enjoyed characters like Wolverine and to a lesser extent, the Punisher years before, but now that so many heroes had become excessively violent and mass-murderers had gained immense popularity, comics didn’t have the same old appeal.  I often thought about picking up one or two titles anyway, but when I would hear about the various storylines in the books I was considering, I quickly reconsidered.

I am a big fan of heroic heroes. if you have read some of my other posts, that may already be clear. I had signed up for Marvel Unlimited in order to read the old comics I had loved again (I sold my collection, which is one of my all-time biggest regrets) and to read from the point I had stopped collecting through to more recent years in an attempt to see where Marvel had “gone wrong.” I didn’t touch DC at all, but not for any particular reason. When New 52 came out, I thought I might check it out, but ultimately chose not to because I didn’t like the direction that they were going with it.

So when Rebirth was announced, I wasn’t sure what to think. I figured at first that it was just another reboot, but when I started reading about what was planned and how the goal was to “bring back the legacy and the optimism” that had been missing, I decided to check it out. A friend suggested that I pick up Lois and Clark, which I did and I loved it. In one issue, it felt more like Superman than anything I had seen in the New 52. Suddenly, I was excited.

When Rebirth launched in earnest, I decided I had to get on board. I picked up several titles: Batman and Detective, Superman and Action, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Titans and Teen Titans, Superwoman and Supergirl, Batgirl, Nightwing, Justice League… If my budget had allowed, I would be reading everything.

Initially, Superman stood out. This was the real Superman again. I loved it, but there were so many other great moments in the other books as well. The return of the original Wally West was another high point, which actually made me more emotional than I think any comic ever has.

There have been highs and lows; I didn’t really care for the idea of a Bat-team in Detective, but it has grown on me steadily. But what has surprised me the most is Wonder Woman. It is probably my favourite  at the moment. I am loving every issue.

If DC can keep this up, they will have me on board for the foreseeable future. I would strongly recommend picking up any of the Rebirth books. They certainly have restored my sense of optimism. It looks like heroic heroes are back and I couldn’t be happier.

Does whatever a Spider Can!

As everyone with an internet connection (or a friend with an internet connection) now knows, the new Spider-Man Homecoming trailer has arrived!

I have pretty mixed feelings about it though. Overall, I am tremendously excited to see him in the hands of Marvel (even if still owned by Sony) and I am so seeing this on opening night! But to run down a few pros and cons:

Pros

Tom Holland shows more “Peter-Parker-ness” in this trailer than we’ve seen in all the previous movies.

I think he is a brilliant choice for the role and look forward to seeing him play Spidey for the forseeable future. He also seems to be having fun with it and is young enough that he can stick around for years to come .

Connections to the MCU.

Marvel and Sony have given fans what they have been hoping for for years now: Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, some people will complain (and they have been…), but that’s just the internet being the internet. This is a good thing, for the most part, but we’ll address a possible Con below.

It just looks fun.

I totally enjoyed Tobey Maguire, but he was a little too mopey. Certainly, Peter had that side, but what usually draws people to Spider-Man is that he’s a fun character and no matter what brings him down, he always bounces back. There should be a sense of wonder and fun to Spider-man, especially in his early years and it looks like this will take that into account.

 

Cons

Too much Iron Man?

Robert Downey Jr is Marvel’s biggest star. One could argue that Sir Anthony Hopkins deserves that title more, but he is in a supporting role, with nowhere near as much screen time. RDJ is pretty much Marvel’s ambassador, being in so many films as well as making numerous real-life appearances and helping charitable causes. Iron Man has become one of Marvels most visible and most popular heroes. That said, there is a risk of him being too involved in this movie.

Having Tony take Peter under his wing is a logical step for Tony after some recent events. His guilt over the death of Miriam Sharpe’s son in Sokovia and his growing frustration with his own failures (Ultron, his “break” with Pepper Potts, his falling out with Captain America) could all quite easily lead to him helping Peter out. On Peter’s end, it’s totally logical for him to accept help from Stark and even seek him out when in need.

The problem, however, is that this is a Spider-Man movie. It is not a team film like Avengers. For Spider-Man to carry his role as the lead, he needs to be independent. He needs to be able to rely on himself and solve his own problems. Peter Parker is a genius. His intelligence is often underestimated and even down-played, but he is actually brilliant. To have Tony supply him with various gadgets is totally unnecessary; Peter can and should create his own gear. He should be self-reliant. Having Iron Man help him out implies that Spider-Man is incapable of solving his own problems. Hopefully the movie will allow him to be his own hero.

Aunt May.

I like Marisa Tomei. In real life, she is a realistic age to play his aunt. After decades with Aunt May being portrayed as a frail, grey-haired woman, however, it is difficult to accept her in the role. I’ve been calling her Aunt Tomei, but I think I will start using the much more clever Aunt Bae…  Also, a small pet peeve is having Peter call her May instead of Aunt May. That’s disrespectful.

No sign of Jonah yet.

Come on, we need JJJ.

The Costume

It’s not bad, but I would like to see a more comic-accurate version. I don’t understand how everyone seems to think this is identical to the comics; it’s not. Andrew Garfield’s costume in ASM2 was the closest we’ve ever seen, aside from the spider design. I can live with it, but I hope it evolves. Plus, I don’t like Peter being dependent on Tony for the costume.

Ned Leeds

I… just don’t see Jacob Batalon evolving into the Hobgoblin. I understand the need to get away from Harry, Gwen and MJ for a bit, though, so focusing on other character is ok. It’s just odd casting.

 

Well, that’s about all I can think of for now. I’m seeing this multiple times, no matter what happens.

Fingers crossed that it’s good.

Also: I’m still thinking that Homecoming might tie in to Winter Soldier, given that it was one of his activation words…