And finally…the last of Origins and Omens!

 

One million plus apologies for the long absence, friends.  All I can say is that school has been royally kicking my fanny lately. 

But I still owe you all the last two of the Origins and Omens stories: Secret Six and Wonder Woman. 

When it comes to the Secret Six, I have to admit that I don’t know much about Mad Hatter, who narrates this particular tale about the Six.  He gives an origin of each of the members, complete with editorial comments.  Better yet, it rhymes!  Aren’t we so lucky? 

Now, at this point, just about all of the “visions” seen on the last page have come to pass.  We see Wonder Woman throwing down with Jeannette, Bane in full on venom mode, and Deadshot completely tied down.  And Ragdoll being…well, Ragdoll.  Most important through all of this though, is the realization that Hatter has it out for the Secret Six.  And while that particular plot point hasn’t really come to the forefront of the story-telling yet, it’s definitely something to think about as the months go by.

Wonder Woman

 

I’ve long contemplated the exact meaning of Hippolyta visiting Tom in the hospital and telling him the story of Diana’s birth for quite a few months.  And of course her statement when walking out of his hospital room, “Be wary of my daughter,” could have any number of meanings.  But since she was previously discussing love and Diana’s history of being loved by everyone on Themiscyra, I tend to believe that Hippolyta means that Diana has never had to work for love.  It’s always come to her, which could lead her to take it for granted.  And, as we have learned in the months since this story appeared, it can also lead her to jump to conclusions about those she chooses to spend her time with.

Even though we see in this story that Tom is walking away from her (and we know from a couple of months ago that he did exactly that), I don’t know that I buy that their relationship is over.  With Tom’s new position with the Global Peace Agency (as part of Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape, which I thought was amazing, by the way) I can see their paths crossing once again and causing them to work together at some point.  For that matter, is Tom even still with the DMA and are they still partners when Diana Prince decides to make an appearance?

Enough of that, though.  We also see in the O & O story that Amazons are pregnant!  With no congress, for that matter.  And then there’s those pesky Manazons.  Curse them, I hate them more and more by the issue, even if they are making for some interesting story-telling.

And then, Diana with blood on her hands.  Oh, that’s the big one, right?  Is Diana going to have to kill again?  My guess is that the difference between this and her killing of Max Lord is that she will have more remorse this time.  That is, of course, if she really does kill someone.  Huh, maybe she’ll just kill Achilles.  I’d be okay with that.  Or Alkyone, too.

What I’m Digging Right Now:

I can’t just limit this to books.  I just…can’t.  It amazes me that even though I’m almost three years into reading comics, a character comes along—one who’s been around for a good, long time—that renews my interest and keeps this hobby new and exciting for me.  To make it easier on myself, I’ve split this up into characters and books.  Consider it a kind of Speeding Bullets segment, only this is the print edition.

Characters (in no particular order):

 Alura Zor-El

I absolutely loved the flashback in the latest issue of Supergirl #47 where some past moments of Alura and Zor’s are shown.  The fact that they came from different guilds is apparent in the way they think, and although it seems as if Zor-El had a lasting impact on Alura’s way of thinking, she still is doing the kind of thing that someone from the science guild would do. 

But at the same time, I can also really see the pain she is going through when trying to deal with the loss of her husband.  This last issue really shows that he was her moral compass, and she is lost without him.  I love getting these insights into her character.  I can’t say that I like her exactly, but at least I feel like I understand her better now.

Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)

 Honestly, I know more about her from the Justice League Unlimited cartoon than I do from the actual comics.  But her recent appearances in Streets of Gotham (a two-issue arc with Man-Bat that I loved) and Batman #693 (am I allowed to start ‘shipping Dick and Helena?) really make me want to know more about her. 

I get that she’s not exactly traditional in her methods.  Hey, someone has to fit the ambiguous hero quota, right?  I want to see more of her.  I guess I should go back and read some Birds of Prey, huh?  But still, I’m totally on a Huntress kick right now.

Batgirl (Stephanie Brown)

This girl can be so messed up sometimes that you can’t help but love her.  She wants to make all the right decisions, but she’s doesn’t exactly have the best track record.  But before all is said and done, I think she’s going to be a great Batgirl. 

 I really need to keep an eye on this friendship between her and Barbara.  It’s not quite there yet, but I know it’s coming.

 Steph is encountering some very unique on-the-job training, and that’s what makes her so appealing to me.  She knows she’s made mistakes in the past, but instead of wallowing in them, she’s setting out to make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

 Booster Gold

 Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this guy.  That scene in the last issue where he goes back to Ted’s funeral?  I wanted to cry.  Really, I did. 

 I think what gets me so much about Booster is knowing the kind of “hero” he started out being.  I remember reading 52 (in trade, and one of my first that wasn’t Superman) and thinking this guy was a huge tool.  I was relieved when I thought he was dead, because he annoyed me that much.  So when he redeemed himself and I saw how he changed, I was grateful.  I like him much better as Rip’s partner.  The story line that just completed about the death of the Teen Titans was great, and I’m glad that I decided to jump on board with this character.  He’s definitely worth it.

 Books

 Justice Society of America

Why am I just now starting to read this book?  Oh yeah, because I had to get over my “these are Golden Age heroes I know nothing about” complex.  I have to admit that the upcoming JSA-based Smallville movie played a big part in making me want to get familiar with the characters.  The fact that Freddie Williams II is drawing the new JSA All-Stars book didn’t hurt matters much, either.

But yeah, I started reading with this last arc that started.  And? Loving. It.  I now feel like an idiot for taking so long to start reading such a cool book. 

 Action Comics

 I really am on a Nightwing and Flamebird high right now.  I love the sleeper storyline and how it ties in to everything else that is going on in the Super-books right now.  Chris might not really be an adolescent anymore, but he still has this youthful exuberance about him that is very infectious, even if he currently looks like he’s 90 years old and circling the drain right about now. 

 I can’t say that I’m really in love with their new uniforms, but I do love that they have S-shield belts that they wear.  I bet Zod would be really pissed off if he saw Chris wearing that.  Wow, there’s just so many story possibilities with Chris and Thara that I don’t want to see them leave Action.  Hopefully they’ll stick around for a while.  I’m really growing attached to them. 

Detective Comics

 Uh…that first issue of Batwoman’s origin story?  I might have fainted with the realization of who Alice really is.  That issue was just so…gut wrenching.  But of course, I would expect nothing less from Greg Rucka.  He has this ability to always surprise me.

 I will admit that the first story arc had some confusing moments for me, but that first issue of the “Go!” arc cleared up everything.  And now, I find myself waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for the day the new issue comes out.  Kate and Renee’s first meeting.  I’m there.

As for the Question’s co-feature, I still don’t know that I’m sold on the new look for Renee that goes with Cully Hamner’s artwork.  I know that it’s just a personal preference, so I don’t judge the whole story on just the art.  The story is good, but I sometimes feel like it’s being glossed over for space’s sake.  If anything has become apparent with these co-features, I think it’s that they have to be written in a different way than a regular 22-page book.  I’ll hold out final judgment for when I see it in trade.  Maybe then the story will read better.

But I’m still in love with Detective Comics. 

Okay, so I hope this huge column (by my standards) makes up for being absent the last couple weeks.  Trust me, I wasn’t just being lazy or decide that I just didn’t have anything worthy of words. 

gutterlife@gmail.com

By Mandy Stegall