Flash War! A Special Article Co-Written By Mike & Paul!

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I don’t have any comic series that I read consistently, but I do like picking up stories that are either getting a lot of buzz, or are going to be the basis for some adaptation.  I’ve been seeing a lot about the “Flash War” event which will pit Barry Allen against Wally West.  Last week the first issue came out, and I picked it up, along with the ‘prelude’ which was in the annual.

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Barry Allen’s “death” in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Which lasted around 30 years before he was resurrected.

Hey Everybody, Paul here. As the resident comic book expert I thought I’d help fill in some of the blanks in the background with ‘Flash War”. Mike not quite having his comic book super nerd powers yet. So anytime in this article you see italics text like this pop up, that’s me putting in my two cents. It’s two authors for the price of one!

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Flashpoint!

Now, I’ve read Flashpoint, and Flash: Savage World, a couple of the Justice League trade paperbacks, as well as being a fan of the TV show, so take my opinion as that of someone who’s not an expert, but also not diving in for the first time. If you’re interested in this story, I do suggest picking up the annual with the prelude, because I found that it makes things a bit clearer in the first issue.

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The Flash: Blitz by Geoff Johns. A must read to understand Flash War.

Besides the Flash Annual that Mike mentioned earlier, the storyline that is most important to understanding Flash War is a story that goes back to Geoff John’s original run on The Flash BEFORE The New 52 and even before Barry Allen came back from the dead. At this point in DC history Barry Allen had died in the classic mega-event Crisis on Infinite Earths. For the nearly three decades after, Barry’s sidekick Wally West aka Kid Flash became The Flash full time. For a whole generation of readers (or if  you even just knew The Flash from the Justice League animated series) Wally West WAS The Flash. Anyway, this super important story was called BLITZ and it was all about how former FBI criminal profiler Hunter Zolomon, who was a good friend of The Flash, became the super villain Zoom and initiated a devastating attack on Wally West and his family. 

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Zoom AKA Hunter Zolomon VS The Flash (Wally West) during Blitz. Set before The New 52.

I’m not going to review the individual parts, but now that I have an idea of what the story is, I’m going to write about it, and then when the series concludes, I’ll write a review of it as a whole.

So, if you’re familiar with DC’s recent history, they had the “New 52” runs, and then there was Flashpoint which I believe allowed them to reset somethings after that, to try the “Rebirth” runs.  Well, there were some consequences to all of these resets and reboots, and one major one, which apparently directly stems from Flashpoint, is that the Wally West (the third Flash) from pre-“New 52” no longer exists as he did.  He is still around, but he has no history, much of his memory is cloudy due to being lost in the ever-changing timeline, and almost no one remembers him.

 

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Another must read before Flash War.

Ok so there’s actually another super important story that you need to read called DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, also written by Geoff John’s. When Barry created Flashpoint and created The New 52 as we know it, “classic” Wally West had seemingly been erased from history. This story partially shows how he escaped from The Speed Force and why there are 2 very different Wally West’s in The New 52 continuity. It also, tells us that Barry creating Flashpoint was not the only person responsible for this altered universe… Just read the story, it’s a huge reveal.

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A heartfelt reunion between Barry and Wally from DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH 

*Some minor spoilers from this point out*

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“Classic” Wally West after he’s escaped The Speed Force in DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH 

As Mike goes into here, there are now 2 Wally West’s in this reality. The adult, white, pre-The New 52, FLASH Wally West who escaped The Speed Force in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH  and teenage, African-American, KID FLASH Wally West.  Now Wally is a white red haired guy, still operating under the title of Flash (although Iris West-Allen, Barry’s wife and Wally’s aunt who doesn’t know who he is, refers to him as the new Flash because Barry is still the Flash as well.)  Wallace on the other hand, is a younger, black teenager (not sure how old he’s supposed to be, but he’s shorter which I’m pretty sure equals younger) Paul chiming in here, he’s roughly in his mid-teens and is Kid-Flash, but is also Iris’s nephew.

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Teenage, The New 52, Kid Flash, Wally West
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All of them together. From left to right: Barry, Adult Wally, Kid Flash Wally

So, they’re the same person but different people.  It’s a little confusing, but I like it, because I’m a big fan of time-travel and the idea that if anything were done differently in a time-line individuals could be genetically different people from one to another.

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Fuck these pricks.

At this point in the article, bless his heart, Mike sort of misinterpreted the chain of events. Basically, Time Agents from the 25th Century (kind of like Minority Report) all dressed like good versions of classic Flash villains, The Rogues, show up at try to arrest Iris for supposedly killing Eodard Thawne (Classic Flash villain The Reverse Flash) at some point… in the future… I guess? Even I’m a little confused on this on, guys. These Time Agents could be full of shit, but adult Wally freaks out at the idea of these assholes taking Iris, where Barry wants to let cooler heads prevail and calmly go with The Time Agents to figure out what’s going on. Some fighting and time travel ensues… One of  The Time Agents has a really cool and surprising power source I won’t spoil here.

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Eobard Thawne AKA The Reverse Flash. Just a real piece of shit. And yes I realize he looks exactly like Zoom. It’s… Well… IT’S A WHOLE THING, OK!

As the first issue comes to a close, we see that Wally has been transported to a future in which he did exist, while Barry, Iris, and Wallace were transported to the alternate future, and Hunter Zolomon aka Zoom tells Wally he’s going to help him change the past and save his children who were erased in Flashpoint.

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Zoom/ Hunter Zolomon 

This issue is kind of framed by Hunter Zolomon and his POV. To the best of my knowledge, the first time we’ve seen this version of Zoom and Wally’s kids since before Flashpoint, because they’re all pre- The New 52 characters.

I’m really excited, because as I said before I really enjoy time-travel and time line stories, I also really enjoy stories in which protagonists conflict with each other, sometimes I find it more interesting than when there is a clear protagonist.  I’m not sure to what level Zoom will participate, my only familiarity with him is from season 2 of the Flash on CW, but I’m really looking forward to what’s coming up.

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    The Hunter Zolomon/Zoom of this comic is VASTLY different from the Zoom from The Flash CW series.  I like Mike’s enthusiasm, but I think this isn’t a great comic for new readers. It’s really more for people who’ve been following The Flash and DC Comics in general for the past decade or so. I recommend new readers check out, as an alternative, the mini-series The Man of Steel by Brian Michael Bendis currently in it’s 3rd issue. You can get at your local comic book store or on your tablet on the ComiXology app. It’s very new reader friendly and all you really need to know is who Superman is and the bare minimum about his world. I hope you guys enjoyed our different takes on Flash War part 1. Thanks for reading, everyone!

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This may be a better option for new readers.

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Paul

 

PODCAST: Superhero Show Season Finales!

Hey Everybody,

On this Episode, I bring in the old man, Paul Sr. to discuss the season finales of Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, and Gotham. We discuss the big moments of each finale, the quality of the preceding seasons, and where the shows go from here. A few of these shows we really love and have suffered from a dip in quality lately. So we have a lot of hot takes in this one! Including some inside info on how the shows connect to some other interesting projects like the Green Arrow movie that almost was called Supermax, the upcoming annual CW superhero crossover event involving Gotham City and Batwoman, the classic Batman stories “No Man’s Land” “Zero Year”, and more! Also, take a look below the link at some cool new images put out to promote the upcoming seasons of the show’s we talk about in this episode.  Enjoy! Listen here, on The Boston Podcast Network pod617.com , or subscribe on Stitcher and ITunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14869407

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The State of the Arrowverse

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I’m a big fan of the Arrowverse.  I watch every show, including Back Lightning, which doesn’t technically seem to be part of the Arowverse and I personally hope it stays that way. But there have been a few pieces of evidence that suggest the shows may be connected. Don’t forget, when Supergirl premiered on CBS and even for a few months after, it was definitely not apart of the Arrowverse. But things change and I suppose we’ll have to see.  Speaking of The Girl of Steel, I’m even a defender when people like to talk about their least favorite one (which tends to be Supergirl).  I think what they’re doing on that channel is great.  But not amazing.

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I think each of the shows right now has one element that seems to be holding it back from achieving something amazing.  With Arrow, I think it’s Oliver as the Green Arrow.  Let me explain that explain that. I really like Oliver, but whole idea of juggling his two lives is played out to me.  Earlier this season, he stepped out of the role, and John Diggle became the Green Arrow, and honestly, I loved that.  Arrowverse Trivia:  In Legends of Tomorrow season one, John Diggle’s son, John Diggle Jr., is the Green Arrow protecting Star City, decades in the future,  under the assumed name of Conner Hawke. AnywayI wish Dig as Green Arrow had been a season long arch, maybe with Oliver being forced to take up the mantle again towards the end of the season. That could have the show go out with a real bang at the end of season six.

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Green Arrow of 2046 AKA Conner Hawke AKA John Diggle Jr.
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Left: Wild Dog, Right: John Diggle as Green Arrow (Present Day)

I also hope that they are able to make Ricardo Diaz a really cool village. Up until now, he’s just been in the background as a puppet master, so he couldn’t really be in the forefront of the story.  Otherwise it wouldn’t be as much of a surprise when the revealed he’s the one orchestrating everything. In the comics (and they reference this on the show) he goes by the name Richard dragon, one of the greatest martial artists on the planet and formidable thorn in the side of characters like Batman, Nightwing, and of course Green Arrow. I’ve always wanted to see him on the show and I hope they do him justice now that he’s been revealed is the true big bad. It’d be pretty cool if he started going by Richard Dragon for the rest of the season, I’ll be honest I’ll be disappointed if they don’t.

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Before I move on to the other shows, I want to touch on something else that all of the Arrowverse shows are guilty of: Many of the really interesting, major changes seems to be resolved way too quickly. Season 3 of Flash began with Barry having traveled back in time, changing the timeline and arriving in Flashpoint, within 3 episodes he was back in the regular timeline. Yes, there were consequences for Barry later in the season, but I think everyone would have wanted to spend more time in the Flashpoint timeline. They had set it up at the end of Season 2, and it seemed like over the summer they said “oh shit, we cant pull off such a massive world change!.  Let’s fix it asap.”  The same thing happened this season with Legends of Tomorrow, the final shot of last season showed them appearing in San Francisco with modern architecture and dinosaurs running around. That would have been a crazy season, but within minutes of the first episode, the anachronism was fixed, as if they realized it wasn’t in their budget.  It’s a bit frustrating.

The First 3 Big Bads on The Flash:

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Eobard Thawne AKA The Reverse-Flash
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ZOOM AKA Hunter Zolomon
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Barry faces Savitar

Other cool Villains :

 

Anyway, back to each show’s big flaw.  I think The Flash’s biggest flaw has been the villain.  We got three season of speedsters and honestly they were each great in their own way. Thawne and Zoom inparticular where fantastic villains. But 3 speedster villains was one too many and the show needed some variety. So as we entered this season and you got The Thinker.  The guy they got to play him was amazing, then they killed him off and put his brain into another guy’s body just as soon as you become invested in him as a villain.  This was hugely disappointing even if it did land Barry in jail for several episodes (which did end up being it’s own highlight).  Now Barry’s out of jail, facing an able-bodied Thinker (part of the appeal of the character was that he was so smart that he would be able to beat Barry with just his brain, while sitting in his hover chair).

Other cool heroes:

 

Then there is Supergirl.  I might be in the minority here, but I do like Supergirl, I just think it has some major flaws.    Most superheroes stories derive their success from action sequences and thrills, but the best parts of Supergirl are the character moments .   There have been less of these great character moments that make the show so good. This season for example, the highlight has been Kara’s sister Alex’s personal turmoil over her romantic life, and her desire to be a mother.  Alex’s struggle last season with her sexual orientation, and discovering she was a lesbian, was the highlight, and this season expanding on that, breaking her heart has been the most intriguing.  The problem then falls on the action, and the “A plot,” and unfortunately, it’s just not keeping up.  It’s serviceable, but it’s not special, it’s not captivating like Alex’s life is.

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Left: Clark Kent, Right: Kara Danvers AKA Supergirl

Finally we come to Legends of Tomorrow.  Before I get into it I’d just like to say, Sarah Lance, whom I disliked during her run on Arrow, is amazing on this show. She’s the Han Solo of the Arrowverse, and honestly, even though I’d really want Barry’s powers, ultimately if I had to BE anyone character, it would be Sarah Lance (She even has her own Millennium Falcon!).

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Sarah Lanch AKA White Canary: Captain of The Waverider

Legends is probably the most fun show of the lineup.  It definitely keeps improving year to year. It is amazingly fun every week and definitely the best of the Arrowverse, at least for now. Also, the cast’s natural rotation, and the structure of the show allow for it to always seem fresh.  So what is wrong with it?  It’s unoriginal.  The idea’s cool, that’s not what I mean.  The Wave-Rider, the team’s time-machine is suspiciously similar to, as I mentioned before, the Millennium Falcon, there are a lot of Doctor Who similarities, and while I loved the episode this week, it was Groundhog’s Day.  None of these things ruins the show for me, in fact I like them all, but I do think it keeps the show from achieving the ‘amazing’ status certain other genre shows achieve.

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Legends of Tomorrow (Version 1.0)
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John Constantine again because he fucking rules.

I mentioned before that I hope that Black Lightning doesn’t become part of the Arrowverse, and I just want to clarify that is just because it’s a different kind of show.  The Arrowverse may touch upon issues of the day, but mostly they’re fun fare, where as Black Lightning as far as we’ve seen it, is a drama, with some comic book elements.  They don’t really mesh, and so I hope they don’t try to force them to.

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Black Lightning AKA Jefferson Pierce with his future superhero daughters

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Written by Michael Cole

With additional writing by Paul Wright

COOL NEWS ROUNDUP!!!

Hey, Everybody!

It’s Paul here! I’m very pleased to say that there’s so much fun, geek news today, that I’m gonna call this: Paul’s Awesome News Round Up! We’ve got fun bits of news from the world of Movies, TV and Comics. I’m going to start with COMICS News, but stick with me now. I know that might not interest some of you as much as movie and TV news. But stay with it because this whole article has some great stuff.

COMICS
So, Marvel is doing and another creative shake up and Relaunch of their books. A lot of fans hate this and I understand why. Sales may not be where Marvel wants them to be, so they trot out some fancy new tiles, creative team shake ups, and a bunch on new #1’s. Beside the danger to the industry by renumbering comics too often. I’m really excited to for this and it begins in May with Avengers as their flagship book, written by Jason Aaron with art by Ed McGuiness. Besides the creative team, why am I so excited about this?
Well, a few months ago Marvell put out a special called Marvel Legacy. In that special we met the characters below (some we know) who fare essentially the first Avengers team: Avengers 1,000,000 B.C.

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Left to Right: The Iron Fist, Starbrand, The Phoenix, Odin, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Agamotto

 

I loved that concept and hoped Marvel would do something with it soon. Now, in Jason Aaron’s Thor run, the beginning of the series took place across three eras battling the same threat. The young, still unworthy Thor who liked to battle and party with Vikings who worshiped him, the Thor of the present, an Avenger and a hero, and finally Old King Thor millennia beyond millennia into the future. One armed and one eyed, as he watches over what’s left of Midgard.
So this Avengers book will follow a storytelling format, the same threat, fought by two different Avengers teams. One in the present and the other, the first Avengers team the Avengers of 1,000,000 B.C.

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Back Row: Doctor Strange; 3rd Row: Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Iron Man, She-Hulk; 2nd Row: Black Panther, Captain America; Front: Captain Marvel, Thor

Avengers #1 written by Jason Aaron with art by Ed McGuiness will become available where all comic are sold in May

 

TV

Krypton 

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If you asked me a year ago that a Superman prequel series set on Krypton decades before its’s destruction, following Superman‘s grandfather, I’d say its sounds like a really fucking stupid idea. I’m very pleased to say that I’ve been proven wrong when it comes to the show. It looks really cool. And apparently it’s not going to be the stuck following the exact narrative of Superman’s family backstory because it’s largely a time travel story, focusing on Superman’s grandfather Seg-El.

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Superman’s grandfather getting a dire warning from the future via DC comics hero, Adam Strange

Brainiac is going back in time try to stop Superman from ever being born (or something), thus stopping his greatest nemesis from coming into being. Meanwhile, DC hero Adam Strange shows up on past Krypton to warn Seg-El that he’s got a Skynet situation on his hands. In what you ask me is kind of a dick move, Strange tells Seg that his grandson is going to be the greatest hero the universe has ever known ( I mean, no fucking pressure, right?) The guy’s already got to worry about an evil alien artificial intelligence looking to wipe out his family line. That’s a pretty normal situation. Happened to me last week. It was a real pain in the ass, we lost some good people.

 

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Brianiac
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BRAINIAC

What I like about this idea is that continuity doesn’t matter. They have openly said that because the show is in the past and time travel and alternate timelines could be involvedthe show will radically change Superman’s mythology. A crazy, time travel, Superman-prequal, sci-fi adventure series across the cosmos of the DC Universe sounds pretty fucking cool. Apparently this show is going to be shark full of cool DC characters in addition to Brianiac and Adam Strange characters like the Green Lantern Corps, DOOMSDAY, Hawkgirl and The Thanagarians have all been confirmed to appear in the first season. Today they unveiled the first look at the big bad of the series, Brianiac and I’ve got to say he looks pretty fucking cool. Below is his picture and a new trailer for the show. I’ve also put in the original trailer in case anyone hasn’t seen it because it’s relatively short and sets a cool tone. I’ve actually got high hopes for this one. I think it has the potential to be pretty fucking cool. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

Jessica Jones: Season 2

The long awaited second season of Jessica Jones is almost upon us. Here’s a new trailer that shows new material but also splices in some flashbacks from season 1. Check it out here:

Jessica Jones: Season 2 premieres March 8

 

Legends of Tomorrow

For you Legends of Tomorrow fans out there, not only has Kid Flash himself officially joined the team.

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We can also look forward to seeing the return of John Constantine on Episode 15 airing March 13

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Another fan favorite recurring characters confirmed to return in the Season 3 Finale is Jonah Hex

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There have been set photos and other rumors that possibly John Constantine will return for the Finale as well. Maybe setting him up as new crew member of The Waverider in season 4? I know I’d love that.

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Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 Finale airs April 9th

 

MOVIES

Big new for all of us Star Wars fans out there, Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi release dates Digital March 13and the Blu Ray drops March 27. Check out the air work below:

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Here are the listed special features:

The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
Scene Breakdowns
Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

All of this plus 14 FUCKING DELEATED SCENES!!! That’s crazy! But awesome.

Anyway, thanks as always for reading!

-Paul

Big DC Comics News! Scott Snyder Announced As The New Writer For JUSTICE LEAGUE

 

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Team: Entropy

Scott Snyder is probably one of the greatest comic books writers in the history of the medium. His run on Batman with artist Greg Capullo is already a modern classic and some of the best work ever done on the character.

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Left to Right: Beast Boy, Lobo, Batman, Lex Luthor, Deathstroke

Following the release of artwork by Francis Manapul, DC announced that Scott Snyder will writing the flagship book for DC, Justice League.  Besides the incredible work he’s already done on characters like Batman, we’ve seen that Snyder has incredible talent working on almost any hero in the DC Universe. So this is something to be very excited about.  Though it wasn’t formally announced I suspect that Francis Manapul will be the artist on the main Justice League book that Snyder is writing, considering his art was such a large part of the announcement.

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Team: Mystery
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Left to Right: Starfire, Superman, J’onn J’onzz, Sinestro, Behind them: (the weirdest damn inclusion) Starro The Star Conqueror

To kick off this new era for the JL, DC has also announced a 4 issue miniseries called Justice League: No Justice, that will set up the new status quo for Snyder’s Justice League bookThe miniseries will be co-written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV (Detective Comics) and Joshua Williamson (The Flash) with art by Francis Manapul. Issue #1 of that miniseries will be on sale 5/9.

DC unveiled artwork with a very diverse group of characters joining the League roster. It was a weird/awesome mix of classic Justice League members, villains, and younger heroes. There are a lot of cool possibilities with these characters. In fact each group of heroes was given subtitle to their team that I’ll include in the artwork captions. Apparently theses specific teams being brought together on separate missions, but with the same larger goal is  part of the story in Justice League: No Justice.

As a side note, Francis Manapul is one of the most talented artists in the business. His gorgeous art is always a huge draw for me on any comic he works on. His run on The Flash in particular is absolutely beautiful.

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Team: Wisdom
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Left to Right: The Atom, Harley Quinn, The Flash, Robin (Damian Wayne), Cyborg

This means there will probably be a few different JL books, each with a different focus. For example, one of the Justice League comics used to be called Justice League Dark and it featured all mystical based DC heroes like John Constantine and Zatanna facing supernatural threats. Writers James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson were named as co-writers of the miniseries with Scott Snyder, so I’d bet that they’ll each be writing a Justice League book, probably with a specific focus like space or magic or something. But once again, the thing to be excited about is Scott Snyder writing the flagship Justice League book which will be your “classic Justice League style”  adventures. Your Original Recipe Justice League, if you will

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Team: Wonder
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Left to Right: Raven, Doctor Fate, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Etrigan The Demon

After Justice League: No Justice wraps up, Scott Snyder’s Justice League will hit shelves shortly after.  These are usually excellent times for new readers to jump on the comic book bandwagon. A miniseries like No Justice is usually designed to acclimate new readers to the status quo and they’re great jumping on points. Keep an eye out here as we’ll publish new info as it becomes available.

Are you excited for Scott Snyder’s Justice League comic book?

Out of the four teams  we see, which was your favorite?

Which team has the most  interesting combo of characters?

Let us know in the comments below!

I know I’m excited! Thanks for reading, everyone!

-Paul