Welcome to the new column “Comics Issues” where two Sound on Sight comics writers debate a important or controversial comics industry topic. First up, we discuss whether the DC New 52 was a successful initiative or not. Feel free to post your opinion in the comments below.
Last week, The Flash took our hero in an unexpected trip through time, after he ran so fast when trying to stop a tidal wave. The question left hanging at the end of the episode, was how many of the big events would be undone now that he’s ruptured the time continuum? As many of us expected and feared, the events of “Out of Time” are completely undone: Cisco discovering that Harrison Wells is the Reverse Flash – Dr. Wells killing Cisco – Iris confessing her feelings for Barry, and Barry revealing his secret identity to Iris – are all wiped clean off the board. The result is very disappointing.
Batman #39 is headed towards another meeting of greatest foes. The Joker has been ahead of Batman at every punch in this arc. To save Gotham Batman must prove again the Joker underestimated him. When it unfolds, Batman will have to become the aggressor and improviser that the Joker has been. If he fails, he’ll become the bat hanging upside down. The Joker has promised his best trick of all, Snyder will deliver.
This issue of (All-New) Teen Titans picks up immediately after the team saves New York from being blown to smithereens by a terrorist group with ties to S.T.A.R Labs. New 52 Manchester Black keeps up appearances as the guy you can’t nail down in terms of what his motivations are but, he does look to be helping the Titans out to some capacity.
The Flash has had a long and complicated history to say the least. These complications all began with “Flash of Two Worlds!” a landmark comic book story published in 1961, that introduces Earth-Two, and more generally the concept of the multiverse, to DC Comics. Long story short, by the 1980s, the DC Universe was drowning in these parallel Earths and multiple continuities and so the writers over at DC decided to solve these problems with Crisis on Infinite Earths, a reality-destroying crossover event that removed the concept of the Multiverse, and depicted the deaths of many long-standing superheroes.
This week on The Flash, Britne Oldford stars as Shauna Baez (Peek-a-Boo) a metahuman who’s mastered the power of teleportation via quantum entanglement. After breaking her boyfriend Clay Parker, out of Iron Heights prison, Barry Allen is tasked with solving the case by taking the residual DNA particulates found at the crime scene to S.T.A.R. Labs for analyzing. Aiding Barry in his investigation is his incarcerated dad Henry who discovers that Clay owes money to a local crime boss, who just happens to be planning a major heist.
The CW’s hit series came back from its mid-season break with “Revenge of the Rogues,” an action packed hour juggling many subplots and further building the DC universe. When last we saw our hero, he was defeated by the mysterious Man in the Yellow Suit, but thanks to a wild card in Firestorm, the Scarlett Speedster made out with his life. That encounter played heavily into the show’s mid-season premiere which opens with Barry’s narration changed to reflect his battle with the Reverse Flash, followed by Barry working on improving his speed through various training exercises that force him to dodge drones piloted by Cisco (How cool was that?).
We’ve already seen plenty of exchanges between The Flash and Arrow since Barry Allen first debuted in “The Scientist”, but this episode marked the first major crossover between the two shows. The writers focused a great deal on the sheer entertainment in seeing these two heroes square off, and the end result is a fun, lighthearted, action packed adventure that knows exactly what it wants to be and executes it well. As DC and Warner Bros. prep Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice to kick-start their interconnected big-screen universe, “The Flash vs. Arrow” proves their small screen worlds are miles ahead of the game.
This week, The Flash goes up against Farooq (guest star Michael Reventar), a metahuman who must harness electricity in order to stay alive. During their battle, Farooq attacks The Flash and siphons all his powers. Meanwhile, Tockman leads a coup inside the Central City police department and takes several people hostage, including Joe and Iris.
This week in “The Flash Is Born,” the sixth episode of the shows first season, Flash must face one of his toughest villains thus far: Tony “Girder” Woodward, another one of Central City’s meta-humans that was affected by the same accident that turned Barry into the speed demon. Tony is able to turn himself into girded steel, making it nearly impossible for the Scarlett Speedster to stop him. Cisco becomes instrumental as the team struggles to find a way to help Barry stop the super-villain with incredible strength and skin made of steel. Meanwhile, Iris calls much attention to her blog, landing her in hot water; Eddie witnesses Tony’s abilities but naively shakes it off assuming what he saw wasn’t real; and Joe asks Dr. Wells if he can help him solve Nora Allen’s murder.
Taking into account a DVR playback The Flash series pilot has risen to 6.8 million viewers since it first premiered. That’s The CW’s most-watched telecast in the network’s history. It’s also the network’s second biggest rating ever among adults 18-49. If you count all platforms, the tally rises to 13 million viewers. If anything, “Going Rogue” will only help boost those numbers. With a script that never forgets its heroes’ humanity, and two superpowered set pieces, “Going Rogue” lives up to its hype — and raises the bar for the DC canon. Not only does this episode introduce Wentworth Miller playing one of the Flash’s best-known enemies, but the special guest star turned in a great performance as the famous Captain Cold. And if that isn’t enough to tune in, “Going Rogue” was co-written by Geoff Johns, responsible for his fair share of some of the best Flash comic book stories. Finally, “Going Rogue” is also the first crossover episode, bringing Felicity Smoak over from established hit series Arrow.
Ever since the cancellation of Justice League International in 2012, Booster Gold has remained an enigmatic figure. The annual which concluded JLI had Booster Gold encounter a future version of himself sporting and A.R.G.U.S. logo before both of them were vanished at the hand of some unseen force. Booster has been completely MIA with the exception of a guest appearance on All-Star Western. After being gone for nearly two years, Booster Gold returns under the pen of his creator, Dan Jurgens.
DC’s current Harley Quinn ongoing series does something that has never been done with the character: it gives her an identity not defined by the Joker. Quinn has forever been the long suffering companion to the Clown Prince of Crime, so much so that it’s hard to think of her as her own character and not just an extension of the Joker.