Justice League: Gods and Monsters [Blu-ray]
In an alternative history Zod is Superman's father, Batman is a vampiric Man-Bat, and Wonder Woman is the child of Ares, God of War. When these dark heroes form an alliance, the question everyone asks is will they save the world, or rule it?
Also available on DVD.
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Cover date: October 29, 2008
Main Story: "A Hope for Tomorrow"
Main Story Writer: Kurt Busiek
Main Story Penciller: Scott McDaniel & Andy Owens
Main Story Inker: Art Thibert
Back-Up Story: "Winds of Change"
Back-Up Writers: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Back-Up Pencillers: Mark Bagley
Back-Up Inker: Mark Bagley
In ancient Egypt, Prince Khufu loses control of his people and a Trinity of Egyptian gods is weakening. Hawkman falls through the reality shift and through hundreds of alternate past lives. Khufu sees it all and decides he has to restore the Egyptian trinity to preserve the future. He has visions of creation being flawed due to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman not being in it.
Apparently years before Khufu found anŠ alien ship that landed in Egypt? And he wrote his visions on a scroll and put it in a tube from the alien ship, and this is the scroll Alfred gave to Tarot.
Meanwhile, planes attack the evil Trinity and fail.
To be continued...
The JSI is responding to the evil Trinity threat.
In Gotham, Green Arrow and Speedy are the new protectors but are challenged byŠ Ragman? And Tatters? Arkham Asylum is now Arkham Prison, but Tatters calls it AsylumŠ then Green Arrow and Speedy dissolve into nothingness and the Arrow Signal changed into aŠ Patch Symbol? And they attack Catwoman, who has large catpeople under her control.
At JSI headquarters, there's a problem with Firestorm and the female half of his component people (?) is telepathic and can teleport and Tomorrow Woman (Lois?) shows up to stop her.
Then there's a problem in Metropolis, as the Ultra-Humanite's minions are attacking the city and a green and gold Tomorrow Woman intervenes.
Then the original Tomorrow Woman turns to dust.
To be continued...
Main Story - 2: So the traditional backup story was presented as the main story this week? I guess?
Hey, it's the ORIGIN OF THE SCROLL FROM A MONTH AGO.
And it STILL makes absolutely NO SENSE why ANCIENT EGYPT would be affected by the disappearance of three people from thousands and thousands of years into the future. Crikey.
I give it a 2 because Nicieza's dialogue is leaps and bounds better than Busiek on his own, which brings me toŠ
Main Art - 3: It'sŠ Ancient Egypt! A MAGIC ALIEN SCROLL, man!
Back-Up Story - 1: Again, I say:
WHAT THE HIGH HOLY &@#% WAS THAT?
Remember kids, Lois smokesŠ and now she has LOTS OF EAR PIERCINGS! O NO WAI! R U 4 REAL? Jiminy cricket, this is just awful.
To say nothing of glaring errors, such as if Green Arrow and Speedy have replaced Batman and Robin to the depth that there's an "Arrow Signal", then if they turn to dust and Ragman and Tatters have become their replacement to the depth that the Arrow Signal is now a "Patch Symbol"Š how can people still remember Green Arrow and Speedy? If history was rewritten so that GA and Speedy were not Gotham's protectors (and it was, since the signal changed), why and how would people remember them? It makes absolutely no sense and fails to establish any kind of logic parameters of its own. This book flies by the "well it's CRAZY TOWN, man, I can do anything!", the problem there being when you do that what you get is a heaping pile of nonsense called Trinity #22.
Is Lois Tomorrow Woman in this reality? Who knows. Same god-awful haircut, but one can never be too sure since the book doesn't bother to give you any sort of confirmation one way or the other.
And look at these other most-excellent Busiekisms:
SCANALYSIS - not just a scan that provide analysis, oh no, for this is WEIRD ALTERNATE UNIVERSE! SEE HOW WEIRD? THE WORDS WERE COMBINED!
Tomorrow Woman has amazing powers due to herŠ QUADRILOBED MUTANT BRAIN.
How is that possible? Silly reader, you're simply forgetting that:
Nth metal = quadrilobed mutant brain = lame, hackneyed babble excuses for a writer to do whatever he wants without having to put logic, thought, motivation, plot and character behind it.
Or even in this case, of course, simply NOT MENTION IT AT ALL because I don't think anyone reading this book gives a &^%# where Tomorrow Woman's powers come from!
AAAAAAAGGGHHH, reading this book is the most frustrating experience of my life. And I know it's true, because my quadrilobed human brain told me so.
Yes, humans have quadrilobed brains too. Did Busiek think we did not know this? If we all have quadrilobed brains, why say "quadrilobed mutant brain" and not just "mutant brain"?
You may think it's because he wanted it to sound cooler or more impressive or something else equally pointless, but I disagree. I think it's because of Busiek's proven track record as exhibited in this book so far:
Sun chained in ink
And even in this very issue:
Clone-brained Gestalti-borgs (RAO HELP US ALL, IT'S GETTING WORSE)
He can't help but call everything exactly what it is.
Many Earringed Smoking Lois says: I'm quadrilobeded too!
Yes yes, you nonsensical random derivative of a character for no reasonŠ aren't we all.
Back-Up Art - 3: Ha ha, oh that wacky alternate universe! Nothing makes sense still!
Cover Art - 1: Green Arrow and Speedy. On the cover of "Trinity". Fighting Catwoman's cat-people, who appeared in all of two panels in the book.
Is anyone even TRYING on this book anymore?
It feels like I'm putting more effort into these reviews than DC is on the book.
Main & Back-Up Story - 1: There really isn't a break in the stories sufficient to say this is a lead story and a back-up story - it's more like chapters of the same story. And credit-wise, the stories, such as they are, are reversed. The back-up story writer/artist team on this issue is usually the "Trinity" book's lead story writer/artist team.
That change would be fine if the story made sense, but the point of the story seems to be that nothing makes sense right now. Of all of Kurt Busiek's talents, not making sense is at the top of the list. If this were Bizarro-world, this story would be a perfect five out of five.
Finally, please, I beg of you Mr. Busiek, leave Hawkman alone - he's confusing enough without your input.
Main Art - 1: Only the art seems to distinguish the stories in this issue. The lead story is an artistic dud. Lots of yellows, tans, browns, and gold for the main part of the lead - there's a lot going on with the pre-Hawks but every page looks like the one before it. Only the first page with Alfred shows any kind of promise.
Back-Up Art - 4: The back-up story actually has the artist usually reserved for the lead story and it's Bagley's typical good work. His art distinguishes Gotham and Metropolis beyond just the dark and light. Each city has its own personality that persists sans Batman and Superman. Gotham is dark and the threats are more terrestrial. Metropolis is bright and shiny and its threats come from beyond. Metropolis is in greater obvious peril in the story but, in Gotham, the least scary things are those that you can see - it's what you can't see coming around the bend that makes Gotham a scary place.
Cover Art - 5: Somebody other than Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman? What a welcome change to have other characters than the Trinity gracing the cover. Why, it could be Green Arrow and Speedy fighting cat-people for all I care.
Main Story - 1: Caveat: I'm considering what is typically the backup story, by Nicieza, to be the "main story" this week, because they reversed the order for narrative flow, it would seem.
Didn't help. Despite reading the entire piece, I had no idea what the heck was going on or why we should care. An Egyptian guy being usurped? What does that have to do with the story we were reading? I get that the scroll means something (though I don't know what) and that they have three gods that are analogues for Supes, Bats, and Wondy, but literally, man, what the hell? What was that? Why was that?
Hawkman? Is that Hawkman? Then who's the Carter referred to in the next story? Confused. And not interested enough to dig deeper and figure it out.
Main Art - 5: Despite the story, the art was compelling. I'm growing more and more fond of McDaniel's style as the series goes on.
Back-Up Story - 1: Okay, who the heck are these people, who the heck is the woman fighting the Ultra-Humanite robots? Why does the Ultra-Humanite have robots? Where did those people disappear to and why?
Why does Ragman want to fight over being a good person with Ollie?
I just... this doesn't even inspire the effort it would take to rip it to pieces.
This comic is so obsessed with itself it doesn't realize there are actual readers looking at it trying to understand it. And failing.
Back-Up Art - 5: Though I don't like the subject matter, I'm still digging Bagley's work. I can't wait to see him on a title other than this one.
Cover Art - 1: Wow. Cat people. Scary. Plus Green Arrow under a Superman logo in a comic without Superman in it.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2008.