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DC Talk-with Hal 02/21/14

Earth 2 #20 CoverA belated Valentine’s Day poem:

Red Tornado is red.
Aquawoman is blue.
Earth 2 Batman is Thomas Wayne.
Spoiler Alert.

Hello and welcome back to Comical Musings.  Tis’ the month of love-related merchandise.  This year, instead of bamboo, I got my wife some cheap jewelry that is already breaking.  *Update – the bamboo is mostly still alive.*  And I thought I would bring you a post that has very little to do with love, but has lots to do with DC.

If you couldn’t tell from my immediate reference to Earth 2 or my way with spoilers.  I’m Hal, and you’ve wandered into the netherverse that is DC Talk-with Hal!  My oh my, this Februarium is already three-quarters over, and I’ve written zero-sixteenths of my monthly blog quota.  Faithful readers will know that the majority of my posts fall into one of two categories: angry complaining tirades or updates about Earth 2.  Since I need to crank something out, and I’ve been beating the disgruntled-complaint drum pretty hard lately, I figure it’s about time to update you on what’s happening on Earth 2.  But honestly, there have been some recent developments that are worthy of mention, even if that wasn’t what this post was probably going to be about anyway.

I forgot about the time new-Batman busted a cap in Mr. Freeze.

I forgot about the time new-Batman busted a cap in Mr. Freeze.

So everything currently going on in Earth 2 revolves around Batman (and evil Superman).  I’m sorry if my poetic spoiler caught you off guard, but if you actually care about Earth 2 and didn’t know that the current Batman is Bruce Wayne’s dad, I don’t really have much sympathy for you.  Especially considering that DC spilled the beans ahead of the formal reveal, through a tweet promoting Earth 2 action figures.  So, now that new-Batman’s identity has been revealed and explained in Earth 2 Annual #2, you’re just going to have to deal with it, sunshine.

In a weird, semi-consistent way, it makes sense that this new Batman is Thomas Wayne (Senior; although there was never a Jr. in this universe).  Fan-boys were speculating as to the possibility of it being Tom, because new-Earth-2-Batman’s costume looks similar to the one Tom wore in Flashpoint.  But how is he so tough for an old guy?  The answer to that is part of what makes new-Batman great!

So Earth 2 Annual #2 is completely dedicated to new-Batman’s back story.  As a doctor, he was providing his mob friends with prescription drugs.  Then he had a kid and tried to go straight.  So the mob had him shot.  He survived, but let everyone think he was dead.  After Bruce became Batman, Tom started taking Hourman drugs, and started killing his way up the mafia chain, to get to his former king-pin buddy.  He has a run-in with Batman, and they realize that they are related.

Tom wants to make up for lost hugs, but Bruce feels abandoned and betrayed.  He also realizes that dad’s kind-of a junkie.  So Bruce says he’s not interested in a relationship, that way he’ll feel less awkward about dressing up like a bat.  Out of courtesy, he does look the other way while Tom goes ahead and murders that mob guy with his bare hands.  But beyond that, Tom is forced to view his son’s life from afar, in a weird stalkerish way, until Bruce sacrifices himself in the war against Apokolips.

Bruce was okay with this...

Bruce was okay with this…

Now Tom is a 65 year old man.   Everyone he has ever loved is dead.   He’s addicted to Miraclo.  In other words, he doesn’t give a fish stick.  He sees his life as having a single purpose: honoring his son by carrying on his legacy (which he has done so-far by shooting the Joker in the head.)

In short, I love this Batman.  (Happy Valentine’s Day.)  It’s like if Michael Douglas’ character from Falling Down became Batman and was addicted to drugs that gave him super powers!

The main narrative of Earth 2 Annual #2 is bookended by Tom explaining why he is revealing his back story to Lois Lane/Red Tornado and Hawk Girl.  He thinks they are two of the greatest investigators alive, so he figured they would figure it out soon anyway.  But this leads to some puzzling questions when we get to Earth 2 #20.

Seems legit...

Seems legit…

The cover of issue 20 announces that “The Forces of Apokolips Meet the Rising Tide of Aquawoman!”  Aside from awkward wording, this proves to be a bait-and-switch, because Aquawoman drowns some parademons in a cloud in the first four pages and then peaces out.  She does give Batman a shell-phone (literally) in case he needs to call her.

Then we’re back in the Batcave and Batman is annoyed that every other active protagonist character is just hanging out.  So when did his great personal exposition happen?  Did he force everyone else into the Bat-sound-proof-room while he explained himself to Hawkgirl and Red Tornado, or was that a hallucination brought on by the drugs.  Also, he made a point of rescuing Jimmy Olson, who has the power to pull vast amounts of data from any information system (in other words, he’s a teenager), and Jimmy even knew about Terry Sloan’s secret pet Kryptonian (which Batman didn’t know about.)  But Batman didn’t think Jimmy should be included when he divulged his identity.  Bro, as soon as Jimbo gets ahold of a smart phone, he’s going to see that DC labeled your action figure “Batman (Thomas Wayne).”

That's Great!It’s also great that Thomas Wayne knew nothing about this new Kryptonian, whose name is Val, but once he does he’s willing to let super-powerful Aquawoman leave him high and dry. Then he gets frustrated that Val isn’t an ass kicking machine.   It turns out that Val is agoraphobic, but the sexy android is able to get him to stand in the sunlight at the conclusion of the issue.  (How did he get from Arkham’s basement to the Batcave without going outside?  Who cares?  He took the Bat-subway.)

In other Earth 2 spoiler news, the solicitations for upcoming issues indicate that Green Lantern comes back in issue #22.  (Oh man, I totally didn’t see that coming… I’m wondering when Grundy is going to come back?  When did the Solomon Grundy Villains’ Month issue take place?  I guess if Earth 2 Annual # 2 is any indication, the answer is “meh, whenever.”)

The other DC series that has captured my attention is Justice League 3000.  Like a pusher, passing free samples to naïve simpletons, Scott let me read his copy of issue #1.  Now I’m hooked.

Basically, 1000 years in the future, the universe is oppressed by five super-powerful beings called “The Five.”  (I’m pretty sure it’s not the pundits on the Fox News show of the same name.)   Anyway the Wonder Twins (minus Gleek) cloned the Justice League to fight these evil forces.  But 1000 year old DNA don’t clone so well, so the resulting heroes are caricatures of their former selves, and they mostly don’t like each other.

*Spoiler Alert* The Flash has already been killed by complete dismemberment, and the Green Lantern has been shrunk and kidnapped.  Batman, Wonder Woman, and Super-don’t-call-me-Clark-man are back on the worst planet ever – Earth.  I’m hoping they don’t turn it into an eco-morality tale, but it might not be that outlandish of a supposition that 1000 years in the future Earth has become a prison planet.  Right, Alex Jones?

Anyway, the comic is well written, and I encourage you to check it out.  I also like the unspoken acknowledgement that it wasn’t worth their time to clone Aquaman.  However, solicitation spoilers reveal that they’ll clone Firestorm in issue 5 and they’ll clone another Flash in issue 6.

That’s the haps.  Thanks for reading.  Check back at least twice a month for the latest in spoiler poetry.  If you have a comment, then submit it below.  What would you like me to write about?  Otherwise, keep musing, and I’ll see you again soon because I owe Scott another post before the month is out.


About Hal

Favorite Comics: Flaming Carrot, Prophet, Dial 'H', Silver-age Green Lantern

Defining Quote: "Y'all don't want to hear me, ya just want to dance." -Andre 3000

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