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JohnMcMahon

DC : The Dark

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Not sure if this particular branding has survived into the third month of the new DC but, for a while at least, there was a new pseudo-Verigo grouping of titles at the publisher.

 

Looking at this Blog entry from June, the DC Dark titles were...are...whatever...

 

Swamp Thing

Justice League Dark

Animal Man

Demon Knights

Frankenstein, Agent Of Shade

Resurrection Man

I, Vampire

Voodoo

 

So this can be the thread for discussing these titles, I'll post below a little about Animal Man and Swamp Thing before close of business today as they're both very good reads and come highly recommended from yours truly.

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Animal Man continues to be a solid read.

 

Have all 3 Swamp Thing issues but have yet to read 2 and 3. Seems to me we've seen this cover to 3 before? Either on an older run or within it's pages?

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I've tried but can't get into Animal Man. But Swamp Thing is weird enough to keep me interested, Justice League dark has been interesting enough for 2 issues, and the others I've not bothered with only because that's too many comics to buy all the time. Oh, and this is a nice category topic, it's broad enough and yet specific enough as to not cause other people confusion. It'll probably confuse me sometimes, though.

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Voodoo was dropped from this list and added to the list with the other WildStorm titles.

I've read the first issue of all the titles still considered part of "DC:The Dark", and read the second issue of all except I, Vampire, and will be continuing to read the coming issues of those "DC:The Dark" titles for the foreseeable future.

 

I just read the third issue of Swamp Thing and Animal Man ysterday. Both of them are getting more horrific.

I'm surprised to see Slinker say that Swamp Thing has a "weirdness", as I consider Animal Man playing to the "weird" strengths far more strongly, especially after the third issue.

Animal Man ranks very highly on my list of the "New 52", ranking at #2 just behind Frankenstein currently.

Swamp Thing I'm not ecstatic about, but it's still worth reading for a few more months at least, just to see where it ends up. The third issue had moments that I quite enjoyed and moments where I was thinking the whole Swamp Thing mythos is growing too insular in this incarnation. You'll know what I mean if you read issue #3, I don't want to give anything away.

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Voodoo was dropped from this list and added to the list with the other WildStorm titles.

 

Not surprised, it never belonged on the list in the first place - Demon Knights is still left squatting there like the messy shit it is though.

 

Edit : That alcohol influenced post wasn't very helpful, so here's something a little more constructive....

 

DC COMICS PRESENTS: THE NEW 52 #1

Written by JEFF LEMIRE, PETER MILLIGAN, JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV and SCOTT SNYDER

Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN, ANDREA SORRENTINO, MIKEL JANIN and YANICK PAQUETTE

Montage cover

On sale JANUARY 4

96 pg, FC, $7.99 US

Don’t miss the special sampler issue reprinting four of the hottest DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 titles, including ANIMAL MAN #1, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #1, I, VAMPIRE #1 and SWAMP THING #1.

 

Nice sample pack that.

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So you guys liked Frankenstein, Agent Of Shade then?. I would like to think they used the thoughtful "man" that the original book contained, it would be awesome to have him as a dutiful servant of civilisation, as in the book an erudite, compassionate being, but hated for his appearence, and placed outside the society he protects by mere prejudice, because he looks like a "Monster".

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It's the DC Universe Frankenstein, who was first used as the Spawn of Frankenstein in the 1970s, and then reinvented by Grant Morrison during his Seven Soldiers series.

If you're looking for the Frankenstein Monster of Mary Shelley, this is the wrong place. This series is based on Morrisonian style wild ideas thrown haphazardly at the page, using Frankenstein's Monster simply as a horror icon.

Marvel had a Frankenstein series during the 1970s which used the creation of literature, but the stories weren't very well written.

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Haven't actually read Frankenstein & Friends yet, will have to give it a go.

 

Two issues in and I still haven't made up my mind on I, Vampire - it's a gorgeous looking book but the storytelling's been disjointed and it feels like the next issue should feature the JLA swooping in and wiping out the vampire threat!

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Maybe they are saving him for whatever Earth 2 world they are going to bring online down the road. I heard they are doing the JSA at some point, so maybe he'll be part of that world. It's not like he's been well served in decades, though.

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Yeah, not since the Ostrander series.

I suppose he's always been a hard character to use properly, considering how often his character has been steered wrong.

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He's a weird cat. If he is in fact God's vengance here on Earth you'd think that would make him insanely powerful. But that gets downplayed a bit. Even in Final Crisis there's only one panel of him getting smacked the fuck down. But this is a dude that could change himself to Kryptonite and give Superman a big ol hug. He should be runnin' shit around here.

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Hmm, I think Action comics has gone off my radar.

 

Which means I am pretty much just getting the Dark comics now.

Minus Demon Knights.

Plus Deadman (or whatever they are calling it) All-Star Western & Static Shock.

 

I see Voodoo has been placed in the "Edge" which is mostly ex-Wildstorm.

 

Animal Man, takes the familiar elements of this story and the implied imoending crossover with Swamp Thing and makes them interesting. I guess this is what I was looking for in Action Comics but this feels like a continuation of the Animal Man we have read before rather than a OH LOOK WE ARE ALL SHINY AND NEW AND YET EXACTLY THE SAME AS BEFORE!

 

Swamp Thing, In the first issue it felt too tied to the previous story, but now that's settled down and the characterisation is moving the story along nicely. Reminds me of Brian K Vaughn's Swamp Thing in terms of the character and storyline being equally well-served.

 

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Bonkers. Some of the supporting team are beginning to grate on me, with them being defined too much by "This one is cynical, this one is sycophantic, this one is mysterious". But the Frankensteins and Father and Palmer are amusing and crazy a la Doom Patrol.

 

I, Vampire, a pleasant surprise. Although I am convinced it was only kept out of Vertigo because they already have the much better American Vampire.

 

Resurrection Man, another fine continuation of what has gone before. The latest issue's [ Spoiler : super-villain with Alzheimers ] intro could have been better handled. But on the whole I am pleased with this considering it is superhero town. This reminds me of when Star Man was relaunched with Will Payton, which means back story that we know, and the central character doesn't is handled well in the story.

 

Justice League Dark, enjoying this more than Milligan's Hellblazer, and the art is a factor in that, but I tire of the "we must assemble a team of misfits and folks who dislike each other" I'd be much more satisfied by these intoductory episodes being more focused on each of the characters in turn rather than these disjointed snippets. The old Justice League team assembly arcs were much better than this.

 

Demon Knights, not read this and not especially interested. Maybe I will give it a go just for completion's sake. What do you reckon?

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I thought Demon Knights started out very pmomising with the first issue, but it's sort of settled into cliched sword and sorcery territory. I'm sticking around to see if the plot picks up, or it's just going to play the "greatest hits".

 

I'm buying the DC:Dark titles (minus I,Vampire), Action Comics, Batman by Snyder, and the Deadman story (while it lasts).

Those are the books I've settled upon for the "New DC".

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Being a majorly rabid Swamp Thing fanatic, I WANT to enjoy the new series... but I'm just not liking it. I hate seeing decades' worth of continuity jettisoned. And despite what DC and Snyder might be claiming, it DOES jettison all of the continuity. Snyder claimed he was taking everything into account, right up through Dysart, but that's clearly not the case. In addition to seemingly ignoring series 3 and 4, there are many incompatibilities with series 2:

 

* The Parliament of Trees is no more--it was burned to a crisp by The Word because it was evil. So where was this new Swamp Thing rooted?

* The Parliament hated humanity and was actively working to destroy it, so there's no way they actually REQUIRED humans for bonding purposes.

* The Parliament knew well who Alec Holland was, as they revered him as their father--he spawned the Parliament during his trip through time--so what this new Swamp Thing said about why they consider Alec special doesn't fit what we already know.

* We already know who was the reigning Earth Elemental in the '40s, and it wasn't this new guy. Albert Hollerer and Aaron Hayley were the reigning elementals during that era.

* The very idea that all previous elementals except for Alec have actually contained the flesh of their hosts is completely wrong.

* Abby is way too young at the end.

* Abby's never-before-mentioned brother?? Come ON, Snyder. Not only is it ridiculous that we've never heard of the guy, but Abby's parents have been dead for decades, so how can she have a brother that young, and that much younger than her?

* Alec's soul was reincarnated at the end of Millar's run in the body of a newborn baby who respresented the next step in human evolution. If he's walking around again, then that baby--who'd now be in his late teens, if I recall correctly--must have dropped dead. So much for human evolution.

* This is NOT the first time Abby has met the actual soul of Alec Holland, and yet she's acting like they never met.

 

Ugh. Pretty much every single thing aspect of this new series cannot be made to fit what came before. And that annoys the hell out of me. I know that was the point of rebooting the universe... but Swamp Thing didn't need a reboot.

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It's funny for all the reasons you don't like the Swamp Thing reboot I like it! I never cared for Moore's Swamp Thing, finding it dull and it didn't engage me. This is the first time I've enjoyed the character.

 

I rather like that it's also a companion book to Animal Man.

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I don't know, Rass.

I'm certainly with you about some of the ill-conceived continuity rebooting ideas you mention...especially that everything in the book now seems to revolve around characters who pop out of nowhere as part of the Arcane family, not to mention the new characterization for Abby.

At the same time, as you say, the entire DCU was relaunched from scratch. These are all new series, and moreso with Swamp Thing, the fact that the book was jettisoned to Vertigo, which had no obvious connections with events happening in the contemporary DCU. it leaves Swamp Thing's continuity even more open to question. There's really no way of knowing what actually counted as part of the DC Universe time-line, and what was the isolated Vertigo time-line.

Too handy an explanation, as that leaves writers free to pick and choose? Yes, in some ways this is true...as Animal Man (for example) might be using more elements of continuity than Swamp Thing. Not being hampered with too much constricting continuity can be a boon for creators, even though you don't like it because you truly care about the character.

Once again, you can argue that Alan Moore revolutionized the character without needing to shred every part of the Len Wein run, and was able to rebuild the character from the ground on up so that the Len Wein stories were all still intact. At the same time, I could argue that Moore had a handful of issues to work with, whereas now, there's years upon years of Swamp Thing comics that have to be worked around.

In the end, I'm going to be forced to conclude by saying that, in my view, choosing questionable plot points serves as a bigger problem than the fact that Synder is playing fast and loose with continuity.

Some of those elements that you complain about may work out better for the series in the long run (I, for one, wish Dysart's issues would be forgotten forever). Millar was ending the Swamp Thing character, so those elements of continuity are erased to create the path to this series. It was pretty confining for a new series.

"Imaginary stories" are still there to be enjoyed. DC is right. You can reread back issues at any point, you just won't be seeing references to those stories again in the new comics.

 

Oh, and as for Alec Holland being reincarnated...he joined the New Guardians and got AIDS.

http://www.fortunecity.com/tatooine/niven/142/trulyawf/tac10.html

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Hmm, I think Action comics has gone off my radar.

 

Which means I am pretty much just getting the Dark comics now.

 

yeah, sad to say the dark ones are the only inyeresting ones.

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Ha! Exactly.

DC seem to have messed up. I can't see this reboot lasting for very long, honestly.

I've been enjoying Morrison's Action Comics, but I can't help but feel that I'm reading Ultimate Superman every time I read an issue. It just doesn't feel authentic, like this is the Superman continuity that people 20 years from now will know.

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Nrama: We've seen solicitations for few issues, and you and Scott Snyder have both talked to us about this big storyline next year called "Deadworld" that crosses over with Swamp Thing. Can you tell us anything else about what you've got in store for readers?

 

Lemire: Yeah, issue #4 and #5 are the end of this first opening arc, with the Hunt and the Hunters, and the Totems. After that ends, in issue #6, we're doing a really cool issue with a guest artist, John Paul Leon.

 

In the first issue, we hinted that Buddy had been in an indie film. Sort of an indie superhero movie. And issue #6, we basically get to watch the movie, and John Paul is doing that issue.

 

http://www.newsarama.com/comics/spoiler-sport-lemire-animal-man-3-111103.html

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So Frankenstein really is just the DCUs stand in for Hellboy, and you know what, i'm okay with that. The book continues to be fun, and i find myself enjoying it more that perhaps i should. It's fairly predictable (Oh no. Big monster swallows Frankie, How will he survive?) but enjoyable none-the-less. I am intrigued by the mystery character that popped up that only Frankenstein can handle. Who ever that will turn out to be. Are we missing any horror archetypes?

 

Resurrection Man is an above average book, but i'm not sure that that is enough to get me to continue to buy it. I'm finishing out the arc then i'll decide what to do.

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I agree on Frankenstein. I'm ok with the Hellboy vibe. To be fair the B.P.R.D. never took on an entire planet of monsters. :tongue:

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You've not been reading the most recent BPRD books then have you. (But yes, not ever like this)

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Nope I have not. I can't afford it. I've been glancing. They are more global and fighting monster breakouts all around the world, right?

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