Recently DC made their third big push of the New 52 excursion; the first being the initial launch, second being the introduction of new titles/characters and now they’ve released Zero Issues. I will briefly review three of them here. Each has a different take on the process, which is nice to see. If a basic template had been used it would have defeated so much of what they were attempting to accomplish.
Superman Issue 0 – Lobdell/Rocafort
In this issue Lobdell explores the lives of Lara and Jor-El in ways not previously envisioned. The store of how little Kal-El made his way from Krypton to Earth has had many incarnations. Though the basics have always remained the same what has always changed is the role and nature of his parents. Lobdell’s view of the two Kryptonians is of brilliance, power, ability and tenacity.
What is truly striking about this story is the portrayal of Lara. Never previously has she been shown with such character and aptitude. Not only is she brilliant, but a skilled fighter capable of handling many a ruffian on her own. Jor-El is, as always, intelligent beyond measure.
Captured in this story is the idea that there were powers on Krypton who truly feared what Jor-El and Lara were capable of and the influence they could control to their truth that they had to be dealt with by the most ruthless of means. In the end, they could not be stopped but they were slowed enough to ensure the doom of their planet and allow one mere survivor.
Earth 2 Issue 0 – Robinson/Giorello
Robinson continues to show why Earth 2 is his baby in the New 52; taking us back to before the time of the first issue with this story. He speaks to a world full of heroes all fighting for the same goal: to rid humankind of the terror that is Apokalypse come to Earth.
That is, they all thought they were on the same side. But there was one among them who saw the world differently, one who saw the world through a different shaded lens. There’s an old saying: “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing”. This issue is the epitome of such an idea.
The character in question, an accessorial part to the Trinity betrays Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in an effort to ride the Earth of those he has deemed impossible to save. He turns Earth into a mirror of Apokalypse with pits of fire bursting flames into the upper atmosphere; killing millions in an instant. He cares not for the fate of that world for he had found a way into other dimensions. The Trinity, stricken by the defeat, are left at the end of the issue with an unclear path. We know how it ends thanks to issue 1, but their road to that point is still a tale yet to unfold.
Justice League Issue 0 – Johns/Frank/Van Sciver
At this stage in the evolution of comic book writing for the new millennia there are few authors I trust as much as Geoff Johns to deliver a quality story with interesting hooks that keep me wanting to turn each page. In JL Issue 0 we see a re-imagining of Captain Marvel, Billy Batson, as the young boy who first gained the power of Shazam!
Though he was a boy with promise and a genuine desire to do good, he was still just a boy who had lived a hard life. His desire to be an upstanding person is muddled in his desire to abuse his powers to strike pain or fear in those who had wronged him.
There is a moment in the story that I really like: Marvel saves a woman from a mugging by dramatically under-appreciating his own strength and whacking a guy several hundred feet and through a car door. The woman, pouring with gratitude, asks what she can do to thank her hero to which the boy in man’s clothing replies: “I am a little short on cash”.
This scene epitomizes what every super hero is NOT supposed to be: out for themselves, money-grubbing jerks who only take action to benefit themselves. But Johns does it under the guise of the childish actions of a newly formed hero. It’s disarming and charming making you think: why aren’t more heroes like this? Then you remember, it’s because there is only one Geoff Johns.
I hope you liked this little interlude. Next week Bin Fodder will be back with the continuation of DC Comics HERO with more interesting and exciting comic reviews to come!
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Till next Wednesday…