I’ve been catching up on some more DC comics lately, and it’s been wonderful! Let me wax lyrical about these books for a bit!
After reading the first Justice League volume (and loving it!) I’ve been checking out the next one, The Villain’s Journey. Following on from their origin story last time, we see the team fractured by the villain Graves, who briefly appeared in the earlier book as something of a fan of the League. It turns out Graves was poisoned during Darkseid’s attack, and his family perished as a result. Blaming the superheroes, he has collected information on each one’s weakness from their arch-nemeses. He manages to fracture the team, culminating in a massive fight between Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, which is broadcast around the world, destroying the reputation of the team. They manage to defeat him, though with some pretty fractured results.
While this book wasn’t as good as the Origin story, it was still nice to see how the storyline develops from the last book. However, being totally honest, I didn’t find it quite as good as the first story. It felt somewhat fractured, and while it was interesting to see more of the dynamics between the group and all that, parts of this felt like the obligatory “rift” style of storyline – the classic sequel that sets up the third act. It feels a little generic in this sense, but at the end of the day, it’s a pretty decent enough comic book story.
Having enjoyed the first Justice League story so much, I bought a couple of other books featuring those heroes, to see what I’d been missing in the solo series, one of which was the first volume of Aquaman. Also by Geoff Johns, it serves as something of an origin story for both Aquaman and Mera, as we see them battle a piranha-like race called The Trench, who live deep in the ocean floor. Along the way, we see both Aquaman and Mera interact with the people of Amnesty Bay, in often pretty hilarious vignettes that show how “real world people” sometimes deride Aquaman.
This story is absolutely amazing. I’d never read an Aquaman story before, so didn’t really know what to expect, but was totally blown away. This book is just awesome! So entertaining – the scenes with folks asking for his help that demonstrate common misconceptions of the character are both humorous but also serve to really affirm Aquaman’s place as a superhero in the DC universe. I think not knowing anything about the character helped, because I came to this fresh and felt like I really learned something about him, but anyway, it was a really interesting story, and I’ve already bought the next two volumes in the series, as I can’t wait to see what happens next!
While I’ve found a new interest in Aquaman, I’ll always return to Flash as my favourite superhero. Following the last book, where we saw Flash confront Grodd in Gorilla City, this storyline sees Central City invaded by the gorillas, and Flash must team up with the Rogues in order to defeat them! There are some pretty neat twists and turns in this story, which ultimately sees Grodd removed to the Speed Force as Iris West and the others burst out in a Soviet tank.
Following on from the main event, there is a smaller story in here also, where those others who came out of the Speed Force with Iris have developed super powers. We get a brief look at Reverse-Flash, but the main story follows Flash as he tries to clear the Trickster’s name of a crime he didn’t commit – an interesting side story type of thing, but one that further helps to explore Flash as a character.
I liked this a lot more than the second book, which felt a bit odd, and had some strange one-shot stories tucked in the back of it. While King Grodd has ostensibly been defeated, it was nice to see the brief glimpse of Reverse-Flash that will hopefully promise a lot of awesome to come soon, anyway!
All in all, then, I’m really loving this discovery of the New 52 comics from DC, and I’m a little annoyed with myself for not having looked into this stuff sooner, to tell the truth. There have been some stand-out awesome stories from my delvings thus far, and even those stories I didn’t think as highly of are still good enough for entertainment!
Can’t wait to get round to some more real soon!