DC Universe: Rebirth – A Must Read

If the DC Universe (at it’s best), means anything to you, you will shed a tear … of joy, when you read this. It’s that good!

SPOILER WARNING.SPOILER WARNING.SPOILER WARNING. SPOILER WARNING.

I posted a very quick ‘you must read this‘ post earlier this week. I hope that you have taken said advice and read this comic. It is so good. It encompassed everything I love about comics. Especially DC specific comics. I really can’t emphasize enough, how good this is. If anyone is reading this and going, ‘meh’ I truly believe that somewhere along the way you’ve lost your love of great comics.

As a side point, if you read it and there were certain bits that you felt didn’t make sense or you needed some clarification, check out this like-minded dude’s Youtube video. He talks through the whole comic in pretty neat detail. As such, I’m going to concentrate on specific parts and general thoughts.

BALLSY MOVE.

I’m Forgotten

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To put it into perspective, this is, in many ways, an apology or an acknowledgment for/that the New52 hasn’t been great. Geoff Johns is a writer with a great reputation, and rightly so. When it comes to DC, there are few who can compete. For me, he and Grant Morrison, have regularly demonstrated their deep knowledge and love for the characters.

This comic is meta in a way, that you just didn’t see coming. And as such, this is why the DC universe can be so exciting. It has such a rich history, that the New52 essentially ignored, ridiculed or just plain ‘forgot.’

It doesn’t undo the new52 but it makes a fucking amazing starting point for anything that follows this issue.

Wally West (pre New52) is the narrator of this story. So straight up, we are seeing the DC Universe in the eyes of a beloved pre new52 character that really had been forgotten.

He explains, in the opening pages, that he’s been stuck inside the Speedforce since the events of Flashpoint. And that something is missing from the world that he loves. Time has been stolen. A fog that has fallen on everyone. Wally has managed to get back through the Speedforce for limited periods of time, since the death of Darkseid. He explains that a darkness from somewhere has infected us.

This is beautifully written and illustrated and you can’t help but draw the parallels with what Wally is saying and what Johns is saying about the decisions DC have made since 2011. Clearly, Johns is holding up his hands and saying ‘we fucked up.’ And that is a massive admission. HUGE! Especially from someone who was involved in the new52.

However, it is done with so much love and is clearly coming from a pre New52 DC, that you cannot help but feel like, it is really heartfelt and made with love; which ties right back into the story later. It becomes clear as we are reintroduced to older characters like Ted Kord and Ray Palmer, that there is a very dark presence hovering in and around the DC universe and it is responsible for all the mistakes and evil.  So these dark forces become somewhat apparent later in the issue and they just blow your mind. Of course, again, Johns is pulling parallels with dark forces and the great and powerful at DC HQ. Apology accepted dude.

“They struck deep at our hearts, Barry”

BARRY & WALLY.

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After Wally attempts to make contact with Bruce Wayne and we get his life story and are reintroduced to various other characters across the DC Universe, we get to a scene that just takes a comic that is already nailing it … to the next level. This is such a touching scene. So beautifully drawn, perfectly weighted dialogue and just so damn good. Even if you didn’t know the characters, you would feel this scene.

“A darkness from somewhere infected us. It has for a long time now, I think. Even before the Flashpoint.”

And when Barry says to his friend, ‘how could I ever forget you?’ you just well up. This for me just demonstrates how powerful the comic medium can be and, with it, you get the feeling of another admission from Johns and co. Why the hell did they turn their back on such a good portfolio of characters? Oh well, this is one hell of a way, to reintroduce them.

THE JOKER.

There is probably no other villain out there that compares to the Joker. Well if you thought you knew the Joker you didn’t. We get the revelation that there are three fricken Jokers. THREE! It’s not clear what this means or how it’s going to play out but, from the panel in Rebirth it looks like, pre New52 Joker, New52 Joker and The Killing Joke Joker. Wow. Mind fuck!

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Some people will complain about this but I have to say, I love the idea of mixing it up. I’m open to a whole new back story. It makes it a mystery and Batman is all about mystery and detective work. This is his biggest test.

WATCHMEN.

We’re being watched

If you haven’t read the comic and see the heading Watchmen, you may think that I’ve inadvertently pasted text from another post, or gone insane as I write. But no. You read correctly. You remember that story called Watchmen? Yes, that one. Well, it is owned by DC. And yes, they have gone and done it.

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I love when universes, characters and stories come together. Especially if you aren’t expecting it. I’m sure some will comment that this is a cop out by DC, especially after, Alan Moore so vocally, distanced himself from the company, but, it’s a brilliant bit of storytelling and such a cool way to explain a drop in performance.

It would seem that we will be seeing more of the Watchmen. Dr. Manhattan appears to be the antagonist and responsible for the dark times, evil and lose of 10 years. I am very intrigued.

You can read a lot into this comic. For example, Dr. Manhattan destroys Owlman, Metron and Pandora (Note: you should read Justice League #50 and Superman #52 before Rebirth). One could interpret this as Johns saying that Watchmen is still an incredibly powerful set of characters that need to be set free.

Whilst there are still people hating on DC, it’s notable that, generally, this comic has been really well received. Genuinely, it’s a great read.

The clock is ticking across the DC universe

 

Chrome-Tastic

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This might seem odd, but I make a point of using two web browsers! As a Mac user, most of my surfing time is spent in Safari. I use it exclusively in iOS (that wasn’t always the case). However, as I work on a PC in the office (as most people still do), Google Chrome is my browser of choice. For anyone who for some reason is still using Windows Explorer, I’d recommend that you download Chrome. Below are some of the reasons why you should do that. Do note that Chrome works better with a Gmail account as it allows you to sync your bookmarks and extensions across devices.

If you visit the Chrome Web Store, you will see the plethora of apps and downloads that are available, that ultimately supercharge the browser. I’ve highlighted three extensions below that I find indispensable. I’d recommend that you try them and that you have a look through the Chrome Store generally, as there might be extensions, apps or software that will appeal to you.

Onetab.

The clue is in the name. If you are anything like me, you can have far too many tabs open at any one time. And with each additional tab, they each get smaller and more difficult to identify. Thus, you need to get your hands on Onetab.

There are two main advantages to this extension. The first is memory saving. It depends on what platform you are using, but you may have noticed that the more tabs you open and use, the slower Chrome becomes (understandably)? Well, when you use OneTab, it saves you memory.

The second advantage is the fact that clicking it once, pulls all your tabs into, you guessed it, one tab and keeps them in a handy list. Even when you close Chrome, on return, all your previous tabs are still in list form. That means that you can click on them – all or individually – and they will all repopulate. Handy!

Pocket.

I’ve written about Pocket at length over the years. Most recently, you can read my thoughts on why it is such a useful app for anyone with not enough time here.

The Pocket bookmarklet has made life so much easier! This is how it goes. You are on your lunch break and you come across a fascinating article on ‘the Many Worlds Theory.’ This article is right up your street but you want to read it properly and you have a meeting in five minutes. What do you do? Jot down the url? Bookmark it to a place you’ll never remember? Email it to yourself and clutter up your well-ordered inbox? Certainly not!

You click the Pocket bookmarklet. That.Is.It. The article is instantly saved to your Pocket list for reading later (on your computer, phone or tablet). One click. A tag option will pop up, so you can label it if you want. I do. Labelling and tagging are essential, but that is another blog for another time.

Tab(tics).

This is one of those lovely, motivating extensions that actually works. It would fall under the ‘health and productivity’ category. It is simple but is the first thing I see when I power up my browser. It essentially hijacks your tab so that when you open Chrome for the first time or open a new tab, a beautiful, hand-picked ‘motivational’ or ‘inspiring’ picture appears with a short, motivational message.

The photos are fantastic and are usually landscapes, nature or Cityscapes. Either way, they tend to look stunning. Especially on a large screen or retina device. It will also display the weather in your area and the time. And if you owe and use a FitBit, you can sync your data onto the page, so you can track it throughout the day.

Hopefully, you may find some use for these extensions. There is a whole world of software that plugs into Chrome, so do spend some time searching as you are bound to find something that will make your working day easier.

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 -OH MY GOD!!!!

‘I’m Forgotten.’

A proper well thought out review is coming on this piece of epic story-telling. But I won’t be able to finalise it until the weekend.

Until then, I simply had to get something written on here about it. In short, I think this is one of the best comics I’ve read for a very long time. Truly! It is so, so very good!

It has everything in it that I love about comics and especially DC. I felt like I was back in time, reading a pre-New52 DC comic that had the whole universe on a knifepoint. Something big was happening … had happened … was about to happen!!!!

IMG_1964

I’ve been so pumped all day since reading this 80-page game-changer. And that’s exactly what it is. Whilst it revisits old DC, it ushers in a new future, that poses so many unanswered questions, my only issue with DC is that Mr. Geoff Johns, (‘take a bow, Sir’) is off to look after the DC Movie Universe. It’s a great addition for them but a loss for comics.

Anyway, I’m rambling. More coherent thoughts will follow in the proper review. In the meantime, all I can say is, if you have ever read a comic, had an inclining to read one or want to learn about the DC universe, you MUST read this. Even if you don’t get all the references, after a bit of internet research, your mind will be blown.

‘The clock is ticking across the DC universe’

The TV battle – DC vs. Marvel

Reading Time: 2-3 minutes

I’m going to come out and say it, Disney is definitely paying or influencing film critics. They must be, as the Marvel films are good but they are not that good. I mean, when I talk about ‘the best movies ever,’ I’m thinking Schindler’s List, The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption. With no disrespect to The Avengers or Age of Ultron, they are not in the same league. As an aside, it is interesting to note, that IMDB only has one superhero movie in it’s top 10 of top rated movies and it isn’t a Marvel movie. Can you guess which one without looking it up?

With that out of my system, I’m turning my attention to TV and specifically to the fact that DC are absolutely nailing it  (with Arrow and Flash) and getting very little praise. All the chat recently has been about Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I have issues (with both).

Jessica Jones. I haven’t seen all of season 1 yet, so I appreciate that I should watch all of it before commenting. However, first impressions are a bit ‘meh.’ It was fine. I didn’t really take to Jessica or the supporting cast. I think there is a difference between ‘dark’ and ‘depressing.’ And this borders on the latter.

Daredevil. I really enjoyed season 1. It had its faults and didn’t do anything new, but it played out the Daredevil origin well. Season 2 felt like it was trying to be non-comics, yet introduced a load of concepts that work really well… in comics. Punisher had great potential but didn’t really fulfil it. Matt’s declaration of love to Elektra was all a bit too convenient. I felt it was rushed and the fight scenes all started to look alike. Ok, the guy can beat 20 plus men in one sitting. We know!

Anyway, for me, Flash and Arrow are much more fun (of course). Whereas Arrow takes the slighter darker route, Flash provides the comic fun. Both deliver great stories and a plethora of interesting characters. And, who doesn’t like time travel and multiple Earths?

Lessons in Social … Media

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ve come across a lot of posts over the last few months questioning whether Twitter is here to stay. The answer to this question is ‘probably.’ But in all honesty, I don’t know. It’s a great platform, that really comes into its own when a large or global event is taking place. I’m thinking, the Football World Cup or a General Election. Live tweeting really adds a fantastically in-depth layer to these events, that you can’t get elsewhere. That would be a great loss!

The thing is, having said that, it’s not actually Twitter that holds the cards. It’s the hashtag (#). If someone said, ‘the hashtag no longer exists. You can’t use it. Your keyboard is no longer capable of producing it,’ what the fuck would we do?

There would no longer be #TuesdayTreats, #WednesdayWisdom, #LVGout or #EUref. Even writing this last sentence makes me feel scared at the prospect. My whole online life is built around the hashtag. It just defines everything with ease and places it comfortably into a universal tagging system. And that makes me sleep better at night.

The hashtag is the beat of the ‘real time’ internet. So, for now, I hope Twitter stays, but if it doesn’t, something else will take the # and run with it.

Do you agree?

What’s Wrong With Twitter?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ve come across a lot of posts over the last few months questioning whether Twitter is here to stay. The answer to this question is ‘probably.’ But in all honesty, I don’t know. It’s a great platform, that really comes into its own when a large or global event is taking place. I’m thinking, the Football World Cup or a General Election. Live tweeting really adds a fantastically in-depth layer to these events, that you can’t get elsewhere. That would be a great loss!

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The thing is, having said that, it’s not actually Twitter that holds the cards. It’s the hashtag (#). If someone said, ‘the hashtag no longer exists. You can’t use it. Your keyboard is no longer capable of producing it,’ what the fuck would we do?

There would no longer be #TuesdayTreats, #WednesdayWisdom, #LVGout or #EUref. Even writing this last sentence makes me feel scared at the prospect. My whole online life is built around the hashtag. It just defines everything with ease and places it comfortably into a universal tagging system. And that makes me sleep better at night.

The hashtag is the beat of the ‘real time’ internet. So, for now, I hope Twitter stays, but if it doesn’t, something else will take the # and run with it.

Do you agree?