World Comic Book Review

A Deep Six’d Publication

21st May 2022

Justice League #50: The Broken Springboard

Justice League #50 (review)
(DC Comics, May 2016)
Writer: Geoff Johns

As the fiftieth issue of this title, American publisher DC Comics have published an extra long issue, concluding an ongoing story line entitled “The Darkseid War”.

The Justice League are a collection of DC Comics’ principal character assets, teamed-up and pitted against various threats in what is now many decades of stories. For reasons not explained in the issue but which have apparently unfolded in earlier issues of Justice League, some of the Justice League’s members are imbued with the powers of the New Gods. The New Gods were a concept created for DC Comics by legendary American comics writer Jack Kirby in 1971. The characters comprising the New Gods each have a separate and distinctive set of superpowers.

In this single issue, the superheroes face a panoply of threats:

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Green Lantern #50-#51: Parallax Error (Review)

Green Lantern #50-#51
DC Comics, March, April 2016
Writer: Robert Venditti

In his book “Come in Alone” (AIT/Planet Lar, 2001), British writer Warren Ellis furiously laments the brand loyalties of readers of superhero comics, such that some of them publicly admit on message boards that they would rather read poorly-written material about favourite characters than suffer fundamental changes to those characters. In his book Mr Ellis lambasts readers of this ilk, describing them as essentially responsible for the creative malaise and commercial degeneration of the American comic book industry.

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Review: Batman/Superman #30

Batman/Superman 30 (review)
DC Comics, May 2016
Writer: Tom Taylor
Review by DG Stewart, 6 April 2016

In this comic, two iconic superhero properties, Superman and Batman, team up to fight an enormous sentient lizard residing in space and with a penchant for eating his own live children, who has somehow trapped a dying alien with the same superpowers as Superman.

The alien has in turn chained Superman with the assistance of kryptonite, a substance which is toxic to Superman. For reasons not apparent the alien decides in this issue to help Superman escape.

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Nothing Alien Here

Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion 1
DC Comics, March 2016
Writer: Tom Taylor
Review by DG Stewart, 18 January 2016

The Green Lantern Corps is a concept which borrows heavily from EE “Doc” Smith’s science fiction classics, known as The Lensmen series (1937-1960). The stories of both are founded on the idea that deep space is patrolled by benevolent aliens of different races, and that notwithstanding their differences both physically and philosophically, these galactic patrollers are united by altruism.

In Mr Smith’s books, the aliens are very alien, to the point of resembling looming monsters. In DC Comics’ Green Lantern Corps (created in 1959 by John Broome with editor Julius Schwartz), the points of alienness have always been much less sophisticated. Traditionally the Green Lantern Corps have consisted of many humanoids with different skin colours or animal features. Some of the Green Lanterns are sentient earth-type animals. One high point of the possibilities of the concept of alienness within the Corps’ ranks came in 1985 when writer Alan Moore created (as a passing mention) a Green Lantern which was a super-intelligent mathematical concept. Another Alan Moore creation, albeit one first based in the same, semi-comedic story, featured a sentient planet called Mogo which was a Green Lantern. But setting aside such irregular bursts of imagination, most of these alien lawmen have been depicted as having only marginally more biodiversity than Earthlings.

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