52 Geek-Out: Multiverse


I'm taking a break from listing the 37 main DC Universe titles in my DC reboot,
in part due to the file-recovery problems noted yesterday, to share the 15 series out
of the overall 52 that are part of the non- or alternate-continuity DC Multiverse line-within-a-line. (As with the actual DC relaunch, my 52 titles only cover the core DC continuity dominated by superhero adventure, not the Vertigo line, licensed-property titles, titles aimed primarily at younger readers, and so forth.)

The first trio consists of non-continuity series with rotating creative teams and features. Everything after that — save for the last title — stands on its own, although
a couple of series are linked to one another by virtue of being set in the same fictional reality. You can of course rest assured that all the old stories you love still "exist" somewhere out there as well. 8^)

My rationale for superhumans and even supertech in this new multiverse paradigm
is that when Kal-El's rocket arrived from Krypton its wormhole brought with it massive energy that over time accounts for the development or at least the gone-into-overdrive mutation of a metagene whose effects vary from enhanced intelligence to hardiness and longevity to obviously outrageous abilities in a small but significant minority of the population. That's something that I recall discussing with friends way back when Crisis on Infinite Earths brought about the first intentional overhaul of DC continuity a quarter-century ago, but at this point I don't remember whether we came up with it ourselves or it was discussed by a likely culprit such as John Byrne, Marv Wolfman, or Len Wein in some fan magazine. The parallel realities in my multiverse differ in when or even whether a Kryptonian craft came to Earth, with the debut of Superman or his analogue occurring in both strange and familiar ways but always marking some kind of singularity in each reality's development of supernormal phenomena.

52 Geek-Out: DCU Part 2


[continued from yesterday]

The Atom
Writer:
Mark Waid / Artist: Chad Hardin

Ray Palmer has disappeared and Ryan Choi aims to find him, but if, as Ryan suspects, his former physics professor has shrunk to submolecular size, that's like searching for a needle in an unmarked haystack among a nearly infinite succession of barns. Meanwhile, as The Atom, he's put through his paces as a fledgling superhero by master craftsman Mark Waid [Kingdom Come], who expertly probes the perspectives of those with seemingly impossible abilities, here joined by his Traveler fellow Chad Hardin [Countdown to Mystery]. The divinely detailed Geof Darrow is on cover duty.

52 Geek-Out: DCU Part 1


I put up a substantial preface to this batch of posts on Friday, but here's a brief recap: DC Comics' May 31st announcement that it would relaunch its main superhero line with 52 new or rejiggered titles come September prompted a friend of mine to put out a call for folks to brainstorm a wish list of what those titles and their creative teams should be. I took up the challenge and, before I knew it, had premises for the whole deck of cards within a new paradigm.

The bulk of my line takes place within yet another "rebooted" DC Universe whose heroic age began at the dawn of the new millennium with the first appearance of Superman. A few of the series are showcase titles with rotating creative teams divorced from continuity, while a dozen more are largely disconnected but together can be seen as evidence of a wider DC Multiverse; we'll get to those shortly. I figured that it made sense to start with the big guns.

I did all of this save for some tweaking before DC itself had released much information on its actual slate of titles, by the way, so it's interesting to see how different and in a few cases how similar my imagined and DC's genuine rosters turned out to be.

Superman
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi / Artist: Rags Morales

Clark Kent is the Last Son of Krypton. He was raised by a good, kind couple in the heartland of the USA, but although he feels human he knows that, biologically at least, he isn't — that's as obvious from his amazing strength, speed, senses, and other super-powers as it is from the alien craft that bore him. For the past decade, since revealing his existence to the world as Superman, he's inspired others with special abilities to join his never-ending battle against crime, hatred, and injustice, including some who are themselves from beyond the stars. And while his dedication as well as his very origins have prompted much of humanity to unite, looking at the cosmos in a whole new way, there are those (of pure and perverse intentions) searching for answers to why the 21st century has ushered Earth into the realm of what seems like science fiction. Peter J. Tomasi [Batman and Robin, Green Lantern Corps] pairs with his Nightwing cohort Rags Morales [Hourman, Identity Crisis] to begin an enduring legend anew. Jeffrey Spokes, who provided stunning variants for Boom!'s Irredeemable, handles the covers.

Unconnected


Of course the moment I typed the famous last words of my previous entry everything was jinxed. I'd already been dealing with trouble restoring some backed-up files after my hard drive was replaced; then, as I was trying to flesh out a longer piece on the next subject in this post, the FiOS went out — mighty ironic given that my Wi-Fi oh-so-briefly seemed to be speeding along once I got a new Airport card and we switched over to Verizon from Comcast, which I wish hadn't happened at virtually the same time so that I could determine which one of the two was the bigger culprit. The DC 52 stuff will roll out right after I get this up. [A look at an online Super 8 comic and other links are after the jump.]



Gene Colan died on Thursday at the age of 84. As expected, Mark Evanier has a remembrance of him at News from ME — too soon after his obituary for Lew Sayre Schwartz, an early and admired ghost for Bob Kane on Batman, and shortly before his anecdote about the late Peter Falk, a legendary actor known to my generation as much for his turn as the narrating grandfather in The Princess Bride as for Columbo. You can find many more thoughts on Colan around the Web, but surely none will be as personal as the reflections of his friend Clifford Meth, whose latest post at this writing on his blog Everyone's Wrong and I'm Right is a beautiful inscription that Colan provided for a scrapbook in thanks to the young students of a cartooning class taught by comics journalist Greg Hatcher.

52 Geek-Out: Intro


The very day that DC let fly the news of its plans, come Aug. 31st, to relaunch its
main superhero line with 52 first issues and (not so incidentally) move to same-day digital release — a topic that I began to write about at length almost immediately, for a post that will hopefully appear soon — my interest was piqued by my friend Stefan's offer to pitch creative teams for any or all of the titles. 


DC Swoosh and '52'
Logos TM/® DC Comics.

It was purely a fan exercise, to be clear. Stefan Blitz, of the Rhode Island Blitzes, is a pal from our days working together in the top-notch Philadelphia comics shop Fat Jack's Comicrypt and unlike at least three other friends I made during that time has not gone on to work for DC Comics. None of us had heard yet, 25 days ago, what the 52 titles were or what the state of the DC Universe was going to be come September; Stefan was just inviting a small circle of folks to brainstorm on a lark — then planning to play editor-in-chief once suggestions were in and run the most intriguing combinations on his website, Forces of Geek. Response was a bit light and he ended up under the weather, so nothing came of the larger project, but by the time he'd told me that I'd already put together an entire roster of 52 series within the framework of a targeted continuity reboot.

Yeah, I know.

In & Out


The blog's drought should be ending soon, as my computer is expected to be home in full working order tomorrow. 

I feel awful about the lack of posts here over the past few weeks and will do my best to make it up to you with as much material as possible published as quickly as possible. One silver lining in all of this — very long in coming, to be sure — is that while a tech at the local Apple Store was diagnosing my laptop's latest round of hardware problems he was finally able to replicate the connectivity issues that have plagued me for years, so between our house's recent switch from Comcast to Verizon FiOS and the laptop's new AirPort card there will, fingers crossed, be a lot less trouble with the WiFi.

Update: Not everything is going smoothly with restoring backups to the laptop's new hard drive, but hopefully that will get sorted out — and luckily I saved some recent files whole to a flash drive in case I got the chance to work on them somehow while my computer was being serviced. Last month I missed the opportunity to publish my review of the Thor movie while my laptop's logic board was being replaced; this month my Airport problems, a screwy router, the symptoms of the failing hard drive, and the absence of my computer to replace the hard drive have spanned my X-Men: First Class review and the beginnings of one on Super 8, not to mention the big news from DC Comics a few weeks ago. My top priorities are going to be a series of posts on that last subject and possibly an entry on True Blood as its new season begins, with some of the film reviews likely booted until their DVD releases to make them timely again.

Barks with a Duck


The comics fans reading this will likely see that post title and immediately think of Carl Barks, the man behind so many masterful Disney-duck works, but as the image below suggests I'm actually going onomatopoetic here.



Mark Evanier recently posted a clip on News from ME of a dog crying fowl as it's chased by a chirpy duckling (whose YouTube page has a couple of genuinely funny comments) — and while I don't usually link to random viral videos, this one is 79 seconds of sublime ridiculousness. As happens with these things, I found it funny but figured I'd seen enough about a third of the way in, only to start giggling moments later when both the slight variations and the very repetitiveness of it became hypnotic.

Def Jam


I finally have the blog's first stand-alone page up, and it's a collection of my word-verification definitions (with an explanation for the uninitiated). Here's another installment of such things in celebration, its content already added to the page.

A quick, unrelated note for percussion aficionados: The Late Show with David Letterman is promoting this as Drum-Solo Week. Late Show drummer Anton Fig, Shiela E, the legendary Roy Haynes, and Rush's Neil Peart will be hitting the skins 'n' cymbals Monday through Thursday, respectively.

Enjoy!

applayer — [ap play ur] n. Someone hooked on their smart-phone games.

bedness — [bed niss] n. The Joss Whedon term for sleeping: "After a night like that, I'm just looking for some quick snackage and the bedness."

boation — [bo shun] n. Movement on a seafaring craft.