Passing the Baton — Who Should Write The Flash Next?

After finishing my “In the Hood” post about good candidates for the next writer of Red Hood, it occured to me that Joshua Williamson’s run on The Flash is also ending soon. In fact, a month sooner than Scott Lobdell’s Red Hood, so… yeah, I’m going to put together a wishlist for Comic Book Santa and hope he delivers!

Joshua Williamson’s run on The Flash began in 2016, with the advent of the DC Rebirth initiative. Initially promising an examination of the DCU and a return of the Flash characters lost as a result of the New 52, it instead became this strange holding pattern, as DC’s plans were delayed and changed, and other series influenced what Williamson could really do with the title. It also had this weird fixation with tearing down Barry Allen as a character by having him repeatedly fail, having characters call him out on his mistakes and just shitting on him in general… and then never really did anything with that. Barry just… kept making mistakes. I’m not the character’s biggest fan, and the guy barely has a personality, but it became very hard to read and I only recently hopped back on.

The series had two, almost barely related stories. One focused on the Speed Force and the wider Flash mythos, introducing new characters like Godspeed, Avery Ho and Paradox while heavily featuring Eobard Thawne’s return. The other was focused on the Rogues and turning them into generic villains as they and Barry finally stopped “playing around” and got serious about their jobs. The Speed Force-heavy stories were very hit-or-miss, but played with the mythos in some interesting ways, while the Rogues stories were… not good, being average at best.

With the DCU seemingly working out its kinks after the conclusion of Doomsday Clock, the advent of Dark Nights: Death Metal which seems to be leading into a big semi-reboot by working in elements of the cancelled Generations series, and Williamson’s final story, “Finish Line”, promising a return of the Flash Family proper, I’m going to look at some creators who I feel, unburdened by the need to reintroduce missing elements of Flash mythos, could write some entertaining Flash stories and why I think they could. Just like with “In the Hood”, I’ll be trying to keep these reasonable and probably avoid anyone who’s had a run on the title already, as much as Mark Waid or Geoff Johns returning would be fun.

Anyway, here we go.

Continue reading “Passing the Baton — Who Should Write The Flash Next?”

The Best Comic Book Story Arcs of the 2010s

As I’ve made clear in previous posts, the 2010s were a good time for comics. I’ve looked at the best comic runs, but now I’m taking it a step down and going into the best comic arcs. These aren’t entire series — unless it’s a miniseries or an ongoing that was cut short — or runs, but arcs. Naming these is a bit weird because some writers don’t really name their arcs, but luckily trades exist, and you can usually tell when something is an arc.

To qualify, the first issue of the arc needs to have been released in the 2010s. That limits my options enough while setting strict rules. Hopefully this makes it fair. Also, this is more of a superhero comic thing, so be warned if that bugs you.

Anyway, get your six (most likely) bag and boards ready, because we’re going to be looking at the best comic book story arcs of the 2010s!

Continue reading “The Best Comic Book Story Arcs of the 2010s”

Best Continuing Comic Series of 2017

Last year was a good year for comics. DC’s Rebirth relaunch settled in, allowing creators to tell some truly amazing stories with strong reimaginings of the company’s characters. The Young Animal imprint mostly stayed strong throughout, really coming into its own. Marvel took a page from DC’s book and is trying to recapture what it thinks fans miss from their universe (something I have mixed opinions on, but here’s not the place for that). And during all this you have some excellent series not from the Big Two either maintaining their excellence or just coming out of nowhere and surprising everyone. 2017 was a good year for comics.

I’ve been away from blogging for a long time, but that little sidebar ranking current ongoing series I’m reading? That is completely up to date. I’ve just fallen really behind on monthly ongoing comics, which made me question whether or not I should do this list. However, I think that this list has been determined for a while now. Nothing that I haven’t read will likely really make a difference to this list. To qualify for this list, the series had to have had at least one issue released in 2016, and one in 2017. Anyway, let’s get on with it. These are the best continuing series of 2017.

Warning: mild spoilers.

Note: Please forgive the weird formatting on some entries when it comes to art. Comixology is bad about this and is where I get my information. Continue reading “Best Continuing Comic Series of 2017”

Ongoings for the New Comic Reader – Marvel (2017, Q1)

Ongoings for the New Comic Reader is exactly what it sounds like — the posts where I recommend current ongoing comics to new readers, mostly based on the current or most recent arc. I focus heavily on the series being new reader friendly, so if the latest masterpiece of Grant Morrison’s isn’t here, you know why. I’m mainly concerned with what I myself am reading, but will occasionally recommend something people have told me or I’ve heard is good, if I feel it bits (these recommendations will be clearly labeled).

So as a whole, I have to say I’ve been pretty disappointed in Marvel’s output this year. There are some good ongoings, but they’re few and far between, as everything seemed to be caught up in the abysmal Civil War II–or rather, dragged kicking and screaming, since every tie-in seems to have at least one rant on how the event is dumb. But there are some gems, and if you’ve seen my “Top Ten Comics of 2016” list, you probably know some of what’s going to be here. Anyway, join my after the break for my comic recommendations for new readers based on Q1 of 2017. Continue reading “Ongoings for the New Comic Reader – Marvel (2017, Q1)”

Nova (2016) #2 Review

Written by Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez
Art by Ramon Perez
Colours by Ian Herring

So y’know how I was really, really excited for this series based on the first issue alone? And how I really liked the juxtaposition of Richard Rider and Sam Alexander’s lives? And how I thought they could have a great dynamic going? Well… this comic is now one of the highlights of my month. Nova #2 follows up on all of that in a great way and establishes a fun, but also touching relationship between the two Novas, while also giving both of them their time to shine. And of course, it’s really funny too. Continue reading “Nova (2016) #2 Review”

Nova (2016) #1 Review

Written by Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez
Art by Ramon Perez
Colours by Ian Herring

Nova has always been a minor league title in the grand scheme of things. Even putting Richard Rider at the centre of the Cosmic Marvel side of things and developing him into a more mature and gritty character didn’t make him a big mainstream hit. And using Sam Alexander to tell typical teen stories didn’t do that in a climate where Ms. Marvel has a more unique approach to teenage superheroes. Not only that, but the fanbase is decidedly split on Sam Alexander’s replacing of Richard Rider after his death, a death that didn’t seem like it was going to be undone any time soon. But since DC brought back a fan-favourite who was replaced in their Rebirth relaunch, I guess bringing Richard back is Marvel’s attempt to do something similar. And it works! Jeff Loveness (Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy, Groot) — a writer who really deserves more work — and Ramon Perez clearly understand both Novas and what makes them different from each other, and write both very well while setting up stories down the line. Continue reading “Nova (2016) #1 Review”