Archive for Black Adam

Blackest Night: Batman #1

Posted in Batman, Blackest Night, Comics, DC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 20th August, 2009 by Adam Redsell
Gotham comes to life.

Gotham comes to life.

“Who Burns Who: Part One”
Author: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Adrian Syaf
Inkers: John Dell & Vicente Cifuentes
Colorist: Nei Ruffino
Letterer: John J. Hill
Cover Artists: Andy Kubert & Alex Sinclair
Alternate Cover Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz
Editors: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza

I’ve never heard of Adrian Syaf before, but damn he draws a fine Batman and a fine horror story.  Blackest Night: Batman is positively dripping with atmosphere.  This first issue opens with Batman and Robin at Gotham Cemetery, bearing witness to the upheaval caused firstly by Black Hand’s exhumation of Bruce Wayne, and secondly by Hal and Barry’s recent tussle with the resurrected Martian Manhunter.

Bruce’s skull is missing, and his parents unearthed, leading to a very emotional exchange between Dick (Batman) and Damian (Robin).  “It’s different when it’s one of your own,” Dick remarks.  Bruce was a father figure to both of them, so it’s a difficult moment for both as well.  Damian comments on the added weirdness of his situation: “I’m sure a lotta kids get to greet their grandparents this way.”  Peter Tomasi’s script is pitch perfect, hitting all the right emotional notes.

Deadman also features quite prominently, and rightly so.  As the name suggests, he’s already dead, placing him in the unique situation of having to wrestle with his own corpse.  But it’s his previous life as a circus performer (Boston Brand) which makes him the perfect partner to Dick Grayson.  His own murder mirrors that of Dick’s parents, and I can only imagine that they will need to pit their acrobatic skills against the Black Lantern Flying Graysons next issue.

But it’s not Deadman’s acrobatics that impress in this issue, rather his internal monologues.  Tomasi’s captions are short and suspenseful.  We catch many glimpses into the horrors that shaped our heroes’ lives, and the violent deaths that now stir the living dead of Gotham Cemetery.  This book is full of small moments made big by their emotional resonance and fan appeal.  Long-time Batman fans will find much to get excited about; there’s little doubt that the entire Bat-family will be put through the ringer by this story’s end.

Gotham’s seen a lot of death in its time, and I for one can’t think of a better venue for the dead to rise.  It’s as if all the planets in the DC Universe have aligned: Deadman’s seen a resurgence in popularity with appearances in both Wednesday Comics and the Blackest Night series proper; and Tomasi’s scripts have once again been lifted to their rightful place with some appropriately eerie visuals.  If you’ve ever wondered where the Tomasi who wrote Black Adam went, look no further than Blackest Night: Batman.

“Superman, FINISH HIM!!”

Posted in Comics, DC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 7th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell

I’m sure many of you have experienced or seen the Most Ridiculous Crossover in Recent Years [I won’t say ‘Of All Time’ because you and I both know that won’t be true in a year’s time], Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Being the highly critical person that I am, I thought I’d take this blogging opportunity to pick their picks to pieces. I’ll address the Mortal Kombatants first, because I’m happy with their choices, by and large. EXCEPT

  1. Jax is quite possibly the most ill-conceived Mortal Kombat character ever devised. Not only does he reek of ‘token black guy’, his one and only claim to fame is a couple of bionic arms. As if one wasn’t enough. The man has no personality! Just put Wesley Snipes in and be done with it.
  2. Where’s Goro? Where’s Motaro? Any four-armed freak of a creature will do. Here’s a mathematical equation to illustrate: MK + 1 four-armed-felon = MK + 10 cools, therefore 1 four-armed-felon = 10 cools.


10 cools. It’s science.

Here’s the rest, for those that are interested:

Scorpion
Sub-Zero
Sonya
Shang Tsung
Liu Kang
Raiden
Kitana
Kano
Baraka
Shao Kahn

Now, as a comic book nerd and DC fan, the solemn duty of criticising the crap out of the rest of the character selections has fallen to me. And what a heavy burden it is – but somebody’s gotta do it:

Batman
Batman suits well enough, aside from the ‘no killing clause’ that most DC superheroes subscribe to. From what I’ve seen, though, he looks too ‘blue’. It’s certainly the dominant depiction these days, but I think they should have opted for the ‘black’ Batman – you know, the one who is so damn shadowy you can only see his pointed shape with some eyeballs painted on…

Superman
I know he’s DC’s flagship character and everything, but there’s no justifying Big Blue’s involvement in a Mortal Kombat game. He’s just too squeaky clean for this kind of thing. Perhaps if Brainiac was in the game, or some other colossal cosmic threat, it might give his presence a bit of context [then again, preaching context to a developer that’s putting MK and DC characters in the same game is probably an exercise in futility].

Catwoman
Now, this one makes sense. I can’t help but feel that they slutted her up too much for this, though. How can you fight and do backflips when your boobs are falling out? I suppose nobody cares so long as they do fall out.


Speaks volumes.

Green Lantern
Green Lantern’s powers are a little too fantastic for a gritty, oatmeal-textured fighting game like Mortal Kombat. The ring constructs just aren’t hands-on enough for this type of thing, though we know the hot-headed Hal Jordan isn’t averse to throwing a punch or three when the situation calls for it. Again, without context, he runs the risk of Fish-out-of-water Syndrome.

The Joker
I’m starting to think that they should have done a Mortal Kombat vs. Batman game instead. Another great choice – I just hope they go with a Ledger/Grant Morrison-style interpretation of the character, smiling from ear to ear.

Shazam
Captain Marvel is even more out of place in a Mortal Kombat game than Superman. He’s a young boy that transforms into a magical superhero with a magic word for crying out loud! If Supes is squeaky clean, then Shazam is polished, buffed and lacquered.

[Having said that, I would’ve taken this if it meant the presence of Black Adam, but sadly it doesn’t.]


Say cheese!

The Flash
How does super-speed work in a fighting game? Handling Sonic in SSBB was hard enough – imagine controlling the Scarlet Speedster, who’s faster than the speed of light. Technically, he should be able to round up the entire cast in a few seconds, but that doesn’t make for good gaming now, does it? This may not be reality, but a comic or videogame needs to follow its own logic. Between the super-speed and the gaudy costume, the Flash just doesn’t fit here.


Wonder Woman: Warrior Princess.

Wonder Woman
Diana Prince, on the other hand, fits surprisingly well as the Amazonian Warrior Princess. If they emphasise her battle armour and weapon skills, Boon & Co. might just pull it off.


Deathstroke
I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming at all. While Deathstroke is seemingly obscure compared to the likes of Lex and the Joker, his presence in a Mortal Kombat game makes a lot more sense. Deadly assassin? Check. Physical deformity? Check. Cool get-up? Check. A freakin’ samurai sword? Check, check and check.
Protip: Deathstroke once had his own series in 1991 called Deathstroke the Terminator. He was referred to exclusively as the Terminator for a good four years until Arnie hit the scene. Now he’s just called ‘Deathstroke’.

Lex Luthor
Love Lex as I do, I fail to see where he fits in the fighting game space. He’s essentially a bald scientist/tycoon in a suit, and while he’s not bad with the fisticuffs, he’s no match for the Scorpions, the Raidens, or even his most familiar foe in a fist-fight.

I suppose the purple-green Apokoliptian battle-suit will be making an appearance, then...

I suppose the purple-green Apokoliptian battle-suit will be making an appearance, then...

Darkseid
Well, one out of eight ain’t bad, is it? There’s not much I can say that I haven’t already said, but Darkseid currently stands as the most important villain in the DC Universe, and brings the necessary level of cosmic to give Supes and Hal some much-needed context…Brainiac would’ve been nice, though.

Compare that to some of my picks, and you have a chalk-and-cheese situation that dwarfs even the ridiculousness of Soulcalibur IV:

Darkseid
Manhunter
Copperhead
Mongul
Bane
Ra’s Al Ghul
Solomon Grundy
Black Adam

Notable (and disappointing) omissions include the likes of Mongul, Bane, Ra’s, Grundy, and especially Black Adam.

Hopefully DC Universe Online actually turns out to be a good game and balances out the universe.