Posts Tagged ‘Green Lantern’

The Winners And Losers In DC Comics’ Zero Month

October 10, 2012

When I write up my Wonder Woman sales report each month, I track a lot of DC’s other books so I can get a sense of how Wonder Woman is doing comparatively.  This month, DC put out #0 issues for most of their series as a one year anniversary of the New 52 celebration, and I thought it would be fun to take a look at who did the best and who did the worst in terms of improving upon their past numbers.

There were 51 titles that came out in August and got the #0 treatment in September.  There were 55 zero issues overall, but 4 of them were new so there’s nothing to compare them to.  I decided on two criteria for these rankings: change in overall percentage of sales from last month and change in number of issues sold from last month.  I tabulated the numbers for both categories, ranked each list from 1 to 51, and then added the two rankings together.

So let’s look at the winners and losers for DC’s zero month!!  First up, the winners:

#1) Batman: 7 points, +31,312 (1st), +25% (6th)

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman is just a behemoth right now.  These gains are MASSIVE, and the book might even end up higher in October when the new Joker storyline starts.  It was already DC’s bestselling book, and it sold even better in September.

#2) Green Arrow: 19 points, +5,282 (10th), +22.8% (9th)

The top of the list is sort of surprising, and I was shocked to see Green Arrow so high.  Maybe people were jazzed to have Judd Winick back writing the character or something, but whatever the reason it really jumped up.

#3) Green Lantern: 20 points, +12,772 (2nd), +16.5% (18th)

Green Lantern is less surprising.  It’s been a strong performer for DC for years now under Geoff Johns, plus they introduced Simon Baz, the new Muslim, Arab-American Green Lantern.  That got some attention.

#4) Savage Hawkman: 24 points, +4,005 (22nd), +27.2% (2nd)

Another surprise!!  Apparently the book is selling so low that ordering four thousand extra copies will give it the second best jump in percentage out of all 51 issues.  Or retailers were just super jazzed there wasn’t a Rob Liefeld cover again, so they ordered a lot.

#5) Batgirl: 27 points, +6,637 (6th), +15.2% (21st)

Batgirl surprised me initially, but then I figured a) the book has some excellent word of mouth buzz, b) people would probably be curious about Barbara’s past seeing as that’s one of the bigger mysteries of the New 52, and c) all of the Bat-books had a great month, maybe due to everyone loving Bat-things or maybe in anticipation of the Joker story starting next month.  Whatever the reason, it’s great to see that a female-led book did so well!!

Since this is a Wonder Woman blog and all, let’s take a pause for Wonder Woman #0 before we get to the losers:

#21) Wonder Woman: 44 points, +5,194 (12th), +11.6% (32nd)

The middle would be #26, so Wonder Woman came in the top half of the chart.  It was also the third highest female-led book on the chart, with Batgirl at #5 and Catwoman at #19.  Interestingly, Birds of Prey, Voodoo, and Supergirl were the next three books after Wonder Woman, and all six of these female-led titles were on the top half of the chart!!  That’s nice to see.

Now, onto the bottom of the chart:

#47) Ravagers: 92 points, +1,707 (48th), +8.2% (44th)

It really speaks to the success of zero month that the fifth lowest book was still up almost 10%!!  DC must be over the moon with these sales numbers.  Ravagers was a Second Wave book, and this is only its fifth issue, and as we’ll see momentarily the Second Wave books didn’t fare so well in September, comparatively.

#48) Earth 2: 96 points, +1,718 (47th), +2.5% (49th)

Earth 2 has been doing fantastically, saleswise, since it debuted in May, and September was no exception.  It just didn’t change all that much from August.  So compared to last month, it’s #48 on the chart, but in terms of overall sales the book is actually #8.

#49) Dial H: 96 points, +1,337 (49th), +5.9% (47th)

Technically, Dial H is tied with Earth 2, but I gave Earth 2 the higher rank because its overall sales are better.  And really, when you’re down the list this far, what difference does one spot make?  Anyway, this is a bummer because I LOVE Dial H and because it’s zero issue was fantastic and did exactly what a zero issue should (and what most of the zero issues didn’t): Provide new, surprising backstory for the series.  But again, Second Wave books didn’t get much play in September.

#50) Aquaman: 100 points, +17 (50th), +0% (50th)

This was a shock.  Aquaman’s been killing it since the relaunch, but it seems that of the many thousands of comic shops across North America, retailers thought only 17 new people might want to try out the book.  Part of this might also be that Aquaman had a big jump in August for no apparent reason, so maybe retailers found that increase was unwarranted but kept the book at that level in case of zero issue interest.

#51) Batman, Incorporated: 102 points, -608 (51st), -0.9% (51st)

Batman, Incorporated was the lowest book in both categories, and the only book of the 51 titles that went down in sales.  And I have no idea why!!  It’s a solid seller, and seems fairly popular among people who like that sort of thing.  Again, it’s a Second Wave book, and this is only it’s fourth issue, so maybe retailers are still feeling out how to order this one.

Overall, zero month was a complete success for DC.  Of the 51 returning titles, 50 had improved sales, plus there were an additional 4 series that premiered decently.  Before Watchmen is still falling fast, and various minis are dropping like minis tend to do, but all told this was a great month for DC.  These gimmicks really do work, it seems.


Wonder Woman Movie Is In Development, Has A New Writer OR Who Is Michael Goldenberg?

June 6, 2012

Variety reported today that Warner Bros. has been developing a Justice League movie on the downlow, written by Will Beall.  So perhaps we’ll see Wonder Woman in that, if it ever gets made.  Last time Warner Bros. tried to mount a Justice League movie, it all fell apart quite epicly, but maybe with the success of The Avengers they’ll have more motivation to get it done.  It’s still early days yet, since Beall hasn’t even turned in a script yet.

More importantly, though, is that the article mentioned that a solo Wonder Woman film is in development.  Again, we’ve heard this song before and, again, it all fell apart epicly, but at least they’re trying again.  It’s also still in the beginning stages, but they’ve hired a writer: Michael Goldenberg.

Unfortunately, Goldenberg’s last feature film was Green Lantern, which suuuuuuuuuuucked.  To be fair, he was only one of the four writers credited on the movie, but it was REALLY bad.  I literally can’t think of any good parts where I could say “well maybe he wrote that bit.”  The entire thing was terrible.  Unless he was the guy who cast Mark Strong as Sinestro, the only good call in that whole movie, then I see nothing positive there.

His output before Green Lantern was sporadic but not awful, though:

Goldenberg wrote Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, released in 2007.  People seemed to like that one, right?  They all meld together in my mind.  But they seemed to get better as they went along, and that one was about the middle or so I think.  So that’s not bad.

Four years earlier, Goldenberg wrote the live version of Peter Pan, which was okay.  Neither loved nor hated seemed to be the reaction.  Plus Jason Isaacs was Captain Hook!!  Jason Isaacs is super awesome.  With Isaacs as Hook, Strong as Sinestro, and Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort, maybe he’ll continue his trend and we’ll get a spectacularly well-cast villain in Wonder Woman.

Before that, Goldenberg adapted Contact in 1997.  He does a lot of adapting. I guess Contact was okay too.  Not great, not terrible.

So that’s not really an impressive track record.  It’s not a terrible track record, apart from Green Lantern, but there’s nothing about his output that says “this dude should write Wonder Woman!!” the way that, say, Joss Whedon did.  He’s only done a few things, so we don’t really have a good handle on him and maybe this is his dream job and he’ll nail it.  But I’m not terribly optimistic.

Though really, I’m not terribly optimistic this movie will even get made in the first place.  Wonder Woman properties have a tough time getting off the ground.  It’s fun that the movie is in development, and I really hope something cool comes of it, but chances are very slim that it’ll work out, much less be any good.

Earth Two’s Green Lantern Is Gay OR People Who Didn’t Know Who Alan Scott Was Yesterday Are Mysteriously Outraged

June 1, 2012

In yet another case of old rumours being confirmed, DC Comics has announced that Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of Earth 2, is gay.  And because, I guess, our society is sort of stupid, this is big news.  Seriously, it’s everywhere.  “Alan Scott” is trending on Twitter.  Unless you are a HARDCORE comic nerd, you would have NO idea who Alan Scott is.  You’d know Hal Jordan from the movie, maybe John Stewart from the Justice League cartoon… perhaps Kyle Rayner if you read Green Lantern in the 90s.  But Alan Scott?  I’m not sure there are as many Justice Society fans as there are people talking about this.

Anyway, Alan Scott was straight when he was created in the 1940s (surprise, surprise) but James Robinson and Nicola Scott are recreating the characters for Earth 2 and decided to go a different directions with Alan Scott to, you know, be actually reflective of modern society.  And so Alan Scott is gay, which is really cool!!  And he’s got a boyfriend, which is also really cool AND nice for him:

Between this and Northstar and Kevin Keller, it’s been a banner year for gay fellows in comics.

For those of you upset by the change, I’d just suggest getting over it, really.  There are two confirmed gay characters in a FICTIONAL ADJUNCT UNIVERSE.  Big deal.  There are millions of actual gay people in the REAL LIFE UNIVERSE.  You’re just going to have to get used to it… they’re not going away. 

And for those of you who are upset about the change BUT don’t think you’re homophobic: Come on.  If you’re THAT into Alan Scott as a character maybe you need to consider changing your sexual orientation as well.  A minor change to a C-list character (despite DC going on about how a major, iconic character would be gay, Alan Scott is pretty low on that totem pole) isn’t anything to get worked up about.  Jade and Obsidian were gone already AND gay dudes can have kids too so maybe they’ll be back.  Just relax.

Anyway, HOORAY for another blow to heteronormativity.  And good work mixing it up, DC.  It’s good to see.

Look for Earth 2 #2 next Wednesday in your local comic shop!!

New Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Trailer Features Wonder Woman!!

May 23, 2012

There’s a new trailer for Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, and while she’s not featured heavily in the trailer, Wonder Woman is definitely in there a couple of times:

There’s a lot of Batman, Robin, Superman, and Flash though.  And CBR posted a picture of Wonder Woman with another character who doesn’t get a lot of facetime in the trailer, Green Lantern:

Despite Wonder Woman’s sporadic at best trailer appearance, this game is going to be AWESOME.  And you can play as Wonder Woman anytime you want in free play mode, once you’ve unlocked her of course, so that’s pretty great.  Look for Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes in late June.

McDonald’s Superhero Toys Again Exclude Women Entirely OR The Problem With Green Lantern

April 3, 2012

In the past I’ve written a couple posts about the Happy Meal toys at McDonald’s and how their superhero lines never have female characters.  My first post was a rundown of several different toy lines, including Young Justice, “Marvel Heroes”, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Spectacular Spider-Man, the Lego Batman video game, and the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon.  The second was a follow-up piece with even more Batman: The Brave and the Bold figures.  NONE of these lines had any women characters at all.

Plus, all of these lines had a more girl-oriented toy counterpart, because McDonald’s LOVES stereotypical gender roles.  There’s always a boy toy and a girl toy, and superheroes are for boys while cutesy pastel coloured animals and dolls are for girls.  While McDonald’s swears up and down that they never refer to the toys as boy or girl toys, they do it ALL the time.  Or just give the kid the toy that matches their gender without asking.  My niece Lois regularly gets indignant with the cashiers when they try to foist a girl toy on her… she’s only 5, but she’s kind of a bad ass.  It’s pretty awesome.

Of course, all of this is terribly insidious.  Infecting children’s minds with dichotomous gender roles limits their choices, first with toys and games and then down the road with work and real life, and you get things like income disparity and few women in positions of power and the patriarchy keeps rolling on because they’re goddamn superheroes and ladies are for making babies.  Thus are all their toys so infantilized.

So now McDonald’s is continuing this ridiculous trend with toys based on Green Lantern: The Animated Series.  Here are the toys:

We’ve got:

  • Three different Hal Jordans.
  • Kilowog (a dude).
  • Razer (also a dude).
  • A power ring.
  • Cool mask glasses that I kind of want but they probably wouldn’t fit my face.
  • The Interceptor (a ship).

No ladies at all.  Now, there aren’t many ladies in the show from what I’ve seen thus far (I’ve only seen a few episodes because the shows airs on a delay in Canada and certain other means of procurement have been slow to show up on the internets).  Hal, Kilowog, and Razer are trapped in some far edge of the galaxy and it’s just the three of them.  However, at the end of the fourth episode, their ship’s sentient computer system, Aya, turns into a sort of android thing who looks like this:

Plus Carol Ferris is set to turn into Star Sapphire in the ninth episode.  There ARE ladies, with cool superpowers and everything, and they could have maybe stuck one in instead of THREE Hal Jordans.  But they didn’t.

Here are the girl toys, in case you were wondering… they’re something called Squinkies that promise, and I quote, a “surprize inside”:

So little baby animals for little girls to love and care for (in preparation for their future children!!).  To be fair, a couple of them are sort of cool sounding.  There’s a dragon and a unicorn and a pegasus.  Still, you really can’t get more stereotypical than pastel baby animals.

But back to Green Lantern.  As terrible as McDonald’s is, and they’re pretty terrible, this does continue a trend of few to no women in DC’s Green Lantern properties.  Next to the Batman family, Green Lantern is their biggest brand right now, and the ladies are rare at best.

In terms of female creators, the Green Lantern comics are terrible.  I’ve been doing women in comics stats for over a year now, and there are rarely any women involved.  Of the four Green Lantern books published now, only one features a female creator, Nei Ruffino colouring Green Lantern: New Guardians.  There are no women on Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, or Red Lanterns.  For March 2012, there were 40 credited creators over those 4 books, and only one was a woman. 

Inside the comics, the Green Lantern book has a few female characters, but it’s the guys who are the stars.  Soranik Natu is the only decent, regularly appearing female character.  There are a few more, but they look like this:

Or this:

Which is just super classy.

McDonald’s systematically excludes women from their superhero toy lines, but in this case women are hardly well served in Green Lantern products anyway.  Girls can be superheroes too.  Girls can LIKE superheroes too.  But not at McDonald’s, or in Green Lantern comics.

Maybe McDonald’s would go for some cutesy Green Lantern babies.  Baby Kilowog would be adorable.

Justice League: Doom Review OR It Was Okay, But Wonder Woman Was Pretty Fantastic

March 20, 2012

I don’t usually review DC’s animated movies, but this one had Wonder Woman in it and it’s not like my blog has rules or anything, so let’s give it a go.  Also, I’m a bit late since it came out about three weeks ago now, but still… I have things to say!!

Justice League: Doom was written by the late Dwayne McDuffie and directed by Lauren Montgomery, and is a loose adaptation of Mark Waid and Howard Porter’s JLA: Tower of Babel.  The basic story is that Batman’s developed contingency plans to take down the Justice League should they ever go rogue or get mind-controlled.  The Legion of Doom, led by Vandal Savage, steals these plans and uses them against the League.  Ultimately (and this is a huge spoiler but if you’re at all familiar with how superhero stories tend to go then you know how it’s going to end anyway) the League is momentarily incapacitated but gets it together in the end to defeat all the bad guys and save the world.

It’s a decent movie, and generally enjoyable.  The DC animated line has been hit and miss for me, but I’d say that Justice League: Doom was one of the better ones.  This was quite a pleasant surprise actually… I just watched it on a lark.  It’s always fun to have the Justice League TV show voice team back together, and I just can’t say no to some Kevin Conroy Batman.  Plus villain team-ups are always fun.  It was a good, standard superhero movie that could have easily been a solid Justice League TV show two or three-parter if that show still existed.  Man, I wish that show still existed.

There were some weird bits, though.  First off, it was the Justice League TV show voice team, but Michael Rosenbaum’s Flash was Barry Allen instead of Wally West.  I mean, a) it was Wally in the comic, b) they don’t even change the characterization at all so it still feels like Wally, and c) if you’re going to make it a different guy, get a different voice.

Similarly, Phil Lamarr’s John Stewart Green Lantern was swapped out for Nathan Fillion’s Hal Jordan.  It was actually Kyle Rayner in the comic, so I don’t see why it had to be Hal.  Other then everyone loves Nathan Fillion, of course.  And yes, I know he played Hal in the Green Lantern animated movie, but Keri Russell was Diana in Wonder Woman and she’s not here.  So that was weird.

Also, the animation was bizarre.  It was sort of anime but sort of not, and seemed to flip back and forth between an anime style and something resembling Young Justice.  The inconsistency was odd, and the anime influence made everything disproportionate.  Faces were out of whack (eyes go in the middle of the head, dammit!!) and people tended to look vaguely Asian sporadically.  It was a weird stylistic choice, especially when the voice actors are so associated with a certain art style for the characters.

So all of that was distracting and a little weird, but on to the main point: Wonder Woman was pretty awesome!!  She was played by Susan Eisenberg, who did a great Wonder Woman for years on the Justice League TV show, and throughout the entire movie Wonder Woman always looked strong and capable while all of the other heroes floundered.  With the anime influence, she looked like this sometimes:

But still, she was pretty kick ass.

When the Legion of Doom took down the Justice League, almost everyone was rendered powerless or entirely ineffective.  Let’s go through them:

  • Bane beat up Bruce Wayne and buried him alive in his parents’ grave, trapping him.
  • Metallo shot Superman through the heart with a kryptonite bullet, and he fell to the ground unconscious.
  • Ma’alefa’ak lit the Martian Manhunter on fire and he flailed about wildly for quite some time.
  • Star Sapphire (with a little Scarecrow gas) made Green Lantern feel bad, take off his ring, and basically lay down in a cave to die.
  • Mirror Master attached a bomb to the Flash and he had to keep running and not slow down or else he’d blow up.

Everybody was trapped.  They were useless and ineffective, and couldn’t fight back.  Wonder Woman, however, had a different sort of problem.  The Cheetah injected Wonder Woman with nanites so she thought that EVERYONE was the Cheetah.  She set about beating up everyone she saw, and ended up mowing through a SWAT team.  The plan was to make Wonder Woman fight so hard and so long that she exhausted herself beyond recovery.  Literally, it made her TOO kick ass.  Now, she was as ineffective as everyone else, but she was active and fighting at least.  It’s a slight difference, but an interesting one when you look at the end of the movie too.

In the big climactic battle, all of the heroes faced their villains again.  Because it’s a superhero movie, they all had an “Oh no, the villain is going to win!!” moment during their fights:

  • Bane flung Batman around by his cape, and then started to choke the life out of him.
  • Metallo blasted Superman with kryptonite and beat the hell out of the weakened Man of Steel.
  • Ma’alefa’ak and the Martian Manhunter had a shapeshifting battle and Martian Manhunter was choked and losing as well.
  • Star Sapphire had Green Lantern wrapped up tight in some sort of binding ring construct.
  • The Flash was surrounded by hundreds of armed Mirror Masters.
  • Cyborg had tagged along, and he got stabbed in the back by Vandal Savage.

Of course, everyone got their acts together and beat the bad guys in the end, but it was looking pretty bad for a while.  All of these moments ran back to back, painting a pretty dire picture.

And what was Wonder Woman’s “Oh no!!” cliffhanger?  The Cheetah, running away into another room.  Wonder Woman had the drop on her the ENTIRE time.  There was no dramatic scene where the Cheetah had the upper hand.  The worst was when Wonder Woman threw the Cheetah across a room into a gun cabinet and Cheetah blasted a laser at her, but Wonder Woman just blocked it with her bracelet with one arm and then lassoed Cheetah with the other arm.  Easy peasy.  At most, the Cheetah landed three or four punches.  Wonder Woman OWNED her, while everyone else was very nearly defeated.

So yeah, Wonder Woman was kind of great in Justice League: Doom.  She almost died kicking too much ass, and then she easily kicked ass when the world was on the line.  Everyone else was all flailing or trapped, and then almost lost again later, but not Wonder Woman.  She was the only lady superhero in the movie and obviously was the best one!! 

Too bad they didn’t work in Hawkgirl (which they should have!!).  That whole Legion of Doom crisis would have been handled in half the time.

Justice League #1 Review (Midnight Releases Are Kind Of Awesome!!)

August 31, 2011

Tonight my local comic book shop, the spectacular Strange Adventures, had a midnight release event for Justice League #1.  We were actually among the very first people to get to buy the book in the whole world.  Hooray Atlantic time zone!!  It was a great time, with sales and food and prizes… I even won one of these:

Dave would sporadically call out trivia questions, and for this one he asked what is Wonder Woman’s mother’s name?  I called out “Hippolyta” right away and won this sweet prize!!  I was jazzed… my Wonder Woman knowledge rarely pays off so well.

So onto Justice League #1.  Short version: I liked it.  It was fun, set up a good villain, and served as a decent introduction to Batman and Green Lantern.  Now for the longer version…

Geoff Johns has never quite gotten the hang of writing Batman.  I don’t know what it is, but he just doesn’t seem to understand the character.  That being said, I think this is some of John’s best Batman writing.  Usually his Batman comes off as a total jerk, but here it’s Green Lantern who’s the jerk, arrogantly trying to handle everything himself, while Batman undermines him and shows him up at every turn, even stealing his ring at one point.  The dynamic almost reminded me of the fantastic all-yellow scene in All Star Batman, coincidentally also drawn by Jim Lee.  If that’s Johns’ Justice League inspiration, this might be a really awesome book.

The issue begins with Batman chasing a weird morphing robot bomber, who Green Lantern steps into handle because his ring alerted him that there was an alien presence in Gotham.  They bicker for a while, the robot explodes while yelling “FOR DARKSEID” (the big bad guy for this first arc) and Batman finds what might be an Apokoliptan mother box.  The duo then jets off to Metropolis to talk to Superman, who neither of them know or trust.  Superman makes short work of Green Lantern, and the issue ends with the reveal of Superman and the promise of a sweet fight with Batman next issue.

Jim Lee’s art is great, though his Batman is always killer.  There were a few pages that were a little odd, with Vic Stone playing football and getting scouted by universities.  Jim Lee, more than any other artist really, is built to draw superheroes… normal, mundane things just aren’t his scene.  They weren’t bad by any means, but Jim Lee is totally in his element when drawing dark night scenes with superheroes beating stuff up.

His Superman reveal page is particularly good.  As much as Lee’s Batman is epic, I’ve always dug his take on Superman too (seriously, you guys, “For Tomorrow” is REALLY underrated).  I’m still not sure about the no shorts and the collar, but the outfit does look kind of cool.  And he’s getting better at the “S” shield… that’s never been his forte.

We’ve seen preview images with around fifteen Justice League members, and the issue only focuses on three… two and a half really, since Superman only shows up for the last two pages.  It seems we are in for a slow reveal of the team.  And poor Vic Stone is going to have something very bad happen to him shortly… he’s perfectly healthy and non-Cyborgy here.  Aquaman, the Flash, and Wonder Woman aren’t even mentioned, much less the various side characters we’ve seen.  I’m sure they’ll show up in the weeks to come.  I wanted to see Wonder Woman, of course, but from the solicits it sounds like she may not show up until November.

Overall, I enjoyed the issue.  Justice League seems poised to be a popcorn summer movie in comic form, which isn’t a bad thing at all.  Explosions and beating stuff up and splash pages are a good time.  It certainly served as a decent introduction to the characters, and the slow build up of the team might be smart in that regard, especially since this is their flagship book.  In terms of the new DC universe, nothing felt too radically different.  The costumes are a little fancier, and there seems to be some anti-alien sentiment we’re not used to seeing in DC books, but the overall tone and depictions of the characters weren’t much of a departure from what we’re used to.  The book has a lot of hype to live up to, being our first look at the DCnU and all, and while it’s not amazing or anything, it’s a decent, fun issue and I’m excited to read more.

For those of you curious about women in comics stats, so far the DCnU is batting a big zero for ladies… there were ten credited creators on Justice League #1, and they were all dudes.  But there’s 51 books to go… maybe it’ll pick up.

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