Well, I picked up Infinite Crisis #1 yesterday. Aside from the fact that I think I’d be lost if I hadn’t been reading the various mini-series that led up to it (and the big reveal depends on knowledge of the original Crisis), I started thinking: I’m reading more comics right now than I have at any time in the last few years, but very few of them are DC Universe. And I’m not entirely sure I’m going to stick with the ones I am reading, post-Crisis.

Back in 1985, when Crisis on Infinite Earths was first published, I was reading these ongoing DC books on a regular basis:

  • The New Teen Titans
  • Tales of the Teen Titans

That was it. I was also reading Groo the Wanderer and Transformers.

In 2005, with Infinite Crisis arriving, I am reading these ongoing DC books on a regular basis:

  • Teen Titans
  • The Flash

The more things change… Continue reading

[Starfire circa 1990]The Teen Titans’ Starfire is an alien princess from the world of Tamaran. A virtual paradise, populated by a proud, but beautiful and sensual warrior race. (Think of co-ed Amazons without the attitude.) When Starfire—or, rather, Koriand’r—was a child, the world was invaded. The war went badly, and the king ultimately agreed to sell his daughter into slavery in exchange for Tamaran’s freedom. (Years later she escaped her captors and ended up on Earth.)

Tamaran’s story unfolded during the 1980s in The New Teen Titans and The Omega Men (which featured Kory’s brother). Koriand’r returned home to help stop a civil war, but then her sister wrested the throne from their father. Komand’r (a.k.a. Blackfire) surprised everyone by becoming a much better—and fairer—ruler than anyone expected. Eventually Kory returned home to stay.

As The New Titans wound its way to a close in 1996, the story returned to Tamaran, now embroiled in a new war—one which ultimately destroyed the planet. The survivors settled on an uninhabited world to rebuild, dubbing it New Tamaran. (New Teen Titans #126-230, 1996)

Then things got nasty.

Just a few months after the final issue of The New Titans, DC published a prologue to the year’s big crossover, The Final Night. The sun-eater, before setting its sights on Earth, destroyed New Tamaran utterly, with no time for an evacuation. Starfire, exiled just hours before by her suddenly-evil-again sister, was believed the only survivor.
Continue reading

Let’s see… what have I picked up recently?

Otherworld (Vertigo). I picked this up on the strength of Phil Jimenez and part of the concept. A group of people from present-day Earth get dragged into an extra-dimensional war—which, of course, has been done before. After issue #2, I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on, beyond the basics. We’re still figuring out who gets transformed how, and as for what’s actually going on in the other world, I think we’re going to have to find out along with the leads. (Heck, I’m still trying to figure out which character is narrating the whole thing.) I’m hoping things will become clearer with #3.

The Atheist (Image/Desperado). A skeptic paranormal investigator (nicknamed the Atheist by his colleagues) comes up against the one case he can’t debunk: the dead are returning and taking possession of the living. In some ways this reminds me a bit of Simon Spectre and Frank Ironwine, the two Apparat books inspired by Doc Savage and the detective pulps. Definitely continuing with this one.

Beyond Avalon (Image/Desperado). King Arthur’s daughter takes up a sword and leaves the island of Avalon to see what’s out there. #1 was just interesting enough to get me to buy #2. But I haven’t actually read #2 yet.

Mnemovore (Vertigo). The concept of this one intrigued me enough I had a dream about it a few nights ago. (Appropriately, I can’t remember much of it.) The main character, injured in a snowboarding accident, has amnesia…but something is causing everyone around her to lose memories as well. Something alive, that Kaley encounters at the end of the first issue. Another one I’m definitely following.

Countdown to Infinite Crisis (DC). I have to admit I had very low expectations for the latest big event book. But the 80-page giant was actually quite good. Three of the four spinoff minis are out now, and they’ve been hit or miss. On one hand, I like the idea that each series focuses on a different corner of the DC universe—Day of Vengeance for the magical characters, Rann/Thanagar War for the sci-fi, The OMAC Project for the superhero/thriller types and Villains United for…well, you can probably guess. On the other hand, at 6 issues apiece plus the 4-issue Return of Donna Troy, that’s already 29 books, plus however many issues Infinite Crisis itself will be. This is all for the 20th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths, which was only 12 issues! And, frankly, the “Which one will lead to Infinite Crisis? Buy them all and find out!” gimmick offends me.

Anyway, I liked the first issue of The OMAC Project, Day of Vengeance #1 left me just curious enough to pick up #2, and Villains United didn’t intrigue me much at all.

Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead. Now that JMS and Top Cow have resolved their dispute and finished Rising Stars, the publisher can start releasing Fiona Avery’s spinoff minis again. First out of the gate is this one, focusing on Lionel Zerb, who talks to the dead. Unfortunately I can’t help but wonder what happened to Rising Stars: Untouchable, the mini about telekinetic assassin Laurel Darkhaven announced two years ago. My impression was that it was done, or at least completely written, with publishing held up by the dispute. I’ll have to reread VotD without that question in my head. (Strangely, I can’t find anything about either series at Top Cow’s website)