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Review: Wonder Woman #23.2: First Born

One of the fun traits of DC’s Villains Month titles has been the change up in creative teams on each book, and for the most part it’s been fine simply because many of these stories are either origins or one-shot tie-ins to Forever Evil. That all changes here as Wonder Woman regular – and only – series writer, Brian Azzarello, maintains his duties as First Born takes front and center. This works so well for the story as it maintains a consistent tone as Azzarello fills us in on one of Wonder Woman’s more mysterious nemesis’ history.

Apollo serves as host in this issue as he asks the Oracles to fill him in on everything there is to know about the first born of Zeus, as he is dropped off bruised, battered and bloody at the King of Olympus’ feet. The Oracles maintain their modern day dialect from the streets of Los Angeles, and my only complaint is having to read the dialogue filled will “likes” and filler words. It suits the style Azzarello has established of the god’s living in an upscale modern society, but it makes it nonetheless irritating after awhile. I’m sure it’s what Azzarello was going for, and if so mission accomplished; it just took me out of the narrative from time to time. That aside, the story is as solid as Wonder Woman’s entire run has been, and this tale is as epic in scope as suits the mythological story deserving of the gods.

The only change in the creative team this time round is ACO takes over the art duties, and his style is ever so slightly less abstract than Cliff Chiang’s, but ACO has a strong sense of illustrating a tale that begins in the streets of Los Angeles and moves into the grand scale of Greek mythology. ACO style fits nicely and nearly seamlessly within what we’ve come to expect for Wonder Woman. It also helps that series regular colorist Matthew Wilson is onboard, as well as the color has been an integral aspect to the feel of the book.

The tale of First Born is epic and grand, and as usual, Azzarello and his team pull it off with little trouble. It feels big, and overall this is a great story. It’s an origin told from a point of view that resonates as less historical and more of in the moment, which is rarely easy to achieve. Once we are exposed to First Born’s upbringing and his ruthless nature to survive we can see that he will remain and possible become an even bigger and badder player in Wonder Woman’s world, and I can’t wait to see how he will be used. It ends on a note that will leave you guessing a bit, but with Azzarello at the helm I’m sure it will be a rewarding development. The best villains book to me were the ones that seem to slide right into whatever the main ongoing story is about, and First Born fits that to a tee. Fans of Wonder Woman will not be disappointed.

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Review: Batman #23.4: Bane

Batman’s final contribution to villain’s month rests squarely on the venom fueled veins of Bane, and the level of violence and sheer mayhem he causes is what we have come to expect, but it’s still nonetheless shocking. Writer Peter Tomasi starts off the death count by Bane literally partially decapitating one of his minions when he invites him – hell – all of his followers to try and kill him. When the daughter of one of Bane’s soon-to-be victims catches Bane just prior to her father’s final breath the resulting reaction is both surprising and disturbing. Bane is looked at by some, not many, but some as an actual hero. Tomasi is relentless with Bane’s attacks and writes him as evil as he has ever been.

The bulk of this issue takes place during the Blackgate Penitentiary breakout orchestrated by Bane. Tomasi gives us a unique look into the mind of Warden Zorbatos as she struggles with futility against the prison uprising. For once we see a Gotham official clearly say and express how much it sucks to be in charge of such utter chaos. Bane instructs his team to use Scarecrow as a tool to spread fear and helplessness against such a hostile takeover.

Bane is like many of the Bat-villains in his desire for random chaos, confusing and fear to control not only Gotham but Batman, as well. It’s only vaguely alluded in the beginning that Batman is nowhere to be found in Gotham, and Bane uses that as a spark to ignite the fire. This issue will also lead directly into Forever Evil: Arkham War #1 and has the same feel as the Scarecrow’s villain title in Detective Comics #23.3 especially in the final panel as Bane overlooks Gotham.

Graham Nolan’s art is very solid, and he draws one menacing looking Bane with a newly oversized tank of venom now strapped to his back. Nothing really jumps off the page, but I like Nolan’s work as a whole and it serves the story well. Overall, Batman #23.4 is a good Bane story without having to rehash origins but still giving a nod to Bane’s upbringing and his escape from prison. It focuses directly on Bane’s role in the upcoming Arkham War, and it will be interesting as it parallels Scarecrow’s own story. Bane’s involvement in Forever Evil is poised to be more heavily entrenched with the main villains who want to run Gotham, and through this issue of Batman it’s poised to be epic.

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Review: Batman / Superman #3.1: Doomsday

This is the first Villains title for the new DC series Batman/Superman, and it features none other than Superman killer, Doomsday. I have been looking forward to this one since its announcement as I have been a fan of the title. Full disclosure: I manage a local comic book shop, and I have heard many mixed reviews of the Batman/Superman book that span the full spectrum of criticism. The biggest complaint I hear is fans like the story and concept but have been turned off by the art of Jae Lee. The knock on Lee was surprising as I have been a longtime fan of his work all the way back to the ‘90s with his creator owned title Hellshock from Image. However, that all changes here with this Villains takeover as Brett Booth has assumed the art duties and fan favorite Tony Daniel does the cover. Booth’s work is definitely more palatable to the average comic book reader, and I have always liked his work, as well. Booth does top notch work as usual, and I will be interested to see if the title picks up steam and support because of the change.

The story itself was above average for me, and Pak delivers and expands on the legend of Doomsday; make no mistake this is all about Superman’s family. The issue begins on Krypton, years ago, during “Remembrance Day” in which Lara recounts the attack by Doomsday and the destruction he inflicts. In the story, Pak does an excellent job getting all the characters involved, none more surprising than Lara, who comes off as a serious bad ass as she takes on Doomsday herself. Pak also throws in a very terrifying and menacing looking Colonel Zod who delivers an exciting battle against Doomsday. Again, Booth also serves up the goods with great dynamics and flow.

The story is abruptly interrupted by a young Kara Zor-El’s scream from her nightmares of Doomsday’s attack. Pak then shifts the story in a more mythological tale as her father recounts to her the story of the Last Knight of the House of El. I would be remiss not to mention Pak’s nod to the polybag cover from the 1992 “Death of Superman” when Kara’s father pulls out the book of legends. The art here is outstanding, and Booth gives it a more highly stylized illustrated style with the most evil looking Doomsday I have ever seen. In the end, Pak’s story is a mixture of origin, legend and an ongoing narrative; don’t expect any Batman references because this is all about Supes. I’m not quite clear as to where this story leads, if at all, to a resurgence for Doomsday, but the events have been put in motion, and one can hope it leads to a bigger story arc for the Batman/Superman title.

The initial Earth 2 crossover for the book, issues 1-3, seemed highly confusing, especially for newbies, and this story would be a nice way to get readers, new and old alike, onboard for a straight-up good versus evil arc. Overall, this issue would have been better served as the first rather than fourth as I feel more people would have jumped at it with little hesitation with art easier on the eyes and a story easier to digest. It’s definitely a very solid issue and one of the better villains books of the week if not the entire month.

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Review: Aquaman #23.2: Ocean Master

This is only the second Villains Month title for Aquaman, this time featuring Ocean Master, and it is a nice bridge from the time Orm lead the attack in the Throne of Atlantis crossover and his escape from prison at the end of the Trinity War. This is not an origin as some villains’ books have been, but a story arc that firmly tells Ocean Master’s side of the story throughout the Aquaman storyline. Writer Tony Bedard writes Orm as a sympathetic character and spells him out as one at the end of the book. Even though many of Ocean Master’s actions have not been by definition good, he is painted in such a way that his actions are motivated by good intentions.

The majority of the title plays out during the Belle Reve breakout, and Bedard lets us know Ocean Master has zero interest in those that make up the Crime Syndicate or their motivations in breaking out all of DC’s villains. Orm is motivated by one simple goal: to return and re-take the throne as Atlantis’ King. He doesn’t get involved with the chaos surrounding his trek back to sea, and the few heroic actions he does manage to pull-off are mere by-products of his desire to get home. Bedard makes this feel more like an integral part of the Aquaman story and less like a stand-alone one-shot. Few books throughout Villains Month have attempted to blend in with the title it takes over, and Ocean Master has been the best example of this so far.

Artist Geraldo Borges’ work also blends fairly seamless with the style and look of Aquaman’s regular run, and it helps that series colorist Rod Reis works his skill here to help maintain the feel. Borges does a nice job making Ocean Master look more heroic in his stature versus a villainous look. He renders Orm’s outfit to make it pop off the page and keeps his design as slick as it is sharp. Ocean Master’s look is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and Borges’ work raises the bar. I give credit to the creative team all around for making this villains title solidly look and feel like a part of the regular series, and whether by design or not, it works extremely well.

Ocean Master is one of the better titles in this final week of Villains Month, and it makes it very interesting where Orm goes from here based on the final page of the book. It’s a cliffhanger that would transition nicely into Aquaman #24, and my hope is they follow through with it. There’s just a ton of good stuff here, and this was just simply a great read. I highly recommend it for ongoing fans and noobs alike.

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Review: Superman #23.4: Parasite

In this final week of villains month from DC comes the book that I found the most surprisingly entertaining of the bunch, Superman #23.4, aka Parasite #1. Writer and artist Aaron Kuder brings a fresh take and a slice of life feel to a character I have never seen in this light. Kuder also brings a vibe to the book similar to Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye with lots of fun and tongue-in-cheek humor.

The story begins with Parasite standing on the edge of a high rise contemplating ending his existence due to his insatiable emptiness and hunger, which is detailed in such a way you will find yourself running to the fridge for a snack. Cut to three weeks prior and let the comedy ensue. Before Joshua Michael Allen became Parasite, he was a bike messenger in Metropolis and a very poor one to boot. He hates people, traffic and his job, and it shows. He suddenly becomes unemployed due to his run-in with what could only be described in glorious detail as a giant booger monster. He hates Metropolis even more because of incidents such as this.

S.T.A.R. Labs contacts the pre-parasite bike messenger, and in an experiment gone wrong Joshua becomes the Parasite, and so begins his unending hunger. When he finally battles Superman he discovers that only the power from the Man of Steel can fill his emptiness, but it can’t be sustained as he can’t beat Superman or his fuel runs dry.

Like most of the villains books very few take place or are directly linked to DC’s Forever Evil event and many, like Parasite, are origin stories. Kuder seems to have a lot of fun with it and uses art techniques such as words as full on graphic elements, as opposed to just sound effects. He uses it to great effectiveness when the events transpire after his injury from booger monster, losing his job, his girlfriend and literally all hope. It’s also where we get the origin of the code name Parasite. Another impressive piece of art is a full page after Joshua’s transformation as he goes apartment to apartment trying to live a normal life as Parasite. There are enough details and underlying storytelling that make the issue a page to study not just read.

All in all, this is one of the single most fun issues of all the villains titles, and it actually piqued my interest in a character like Parasite. I would like to see Kuder work on more DC characters due to his ability to inject a lot of life and character into his storytelling, and hopefully this is the book that will make that happen. This issue doesn’t advance the Forever Evil plot or even Superman’s own story, but it’s worth picking up if you enjoy a more light-hearted take on superpowers and those who posses them. Superman #23.4 is definitely the standout issue in the final week of Villains month, and it also will make you seek out some of Kuder’s previous work and look forward to what he does in the future.

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Review: Justice League #23.2: Lobo

I will admit: I wanted to hate this book with the introduction of the new Lobo, but I ended up loving it.

Sure, it is Lobo as Elvis, or Robert Pattinson or Han Solo (or Benicio Del Toro?), but it works.

I’m not keen with Villains Month because a majority of the issues read as filler; however, there have been a few diamonds in the rough, and Justice League #23.2: Lobo happens to be one (Starlin and Porter’s Green Lantern #23.2 is another). The issue succeeds as it introduces a new villain to the DCU and also leaves the reader wanting more. Lobo is not a good guy; he is the bad guy, and Lobo is out for #1 – and whatever gets in his way better watch out. I loved how Marguerite Bennett gives us an issue where there is no question about that; Lobo is what he is, and here it is!

Justice League #23.2: Lobo is quick tale told in space as the bounty hunter goes on a pair of missions revealing the exact nature of the Main Man, which also will lead to a future confrontation with the “other” Lobo. Hey, I am not big on other Lobo as it stands (appearing in Stormwatch), and this new Lobo is precisely what I want. I look forward to the day when it is Lobo vs. Lobo and “Edward Cullen” takes care of business, and then shows the Justice League a thing or two. The DCU needs more serious heavy-weights and BA villains, in my opinion. If you read Forever Evil #1, I think you know exactly what I mean because the villains come off as a complete joke. With this issue, Lobo comes off as a Han Solo cruising through space, and it works (who doesn’t want to read about that?).

Ben Oliver and Cliff Richards’ art is perfect, as well, as it is on the dark and gritty side, which is befitting of Lobo and the setting for the book. While the new Lobo character design has been taking a beating online, I feel the design isn’t bad. It is kinda cool because Marguerite Bennett writes Lobo in such a way that he is a complete bad ass, something that the reader cannot deny no matter the art.

Justice League #23.2: Lobo is a great one shot, and I hope DC considers giving this creative team a Lobo mini-series (at least) because Lobo would be something fun to follow, not to mention a fresh approach (i.e. a book more on the villain side). 

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Review: Green Lantern #23.1: Relic

Take a look at Green Lantern on the cover of this issue, and that about sums up my thoughts completely. It’s an epic disaster taking total advantage of the comic book consumer through a gimmick cover meant only to bring in a few more dollars to DC’s war chest.

The issue has absolutely no value for me as a reader whatsoever as it’s essentially a whole bunch of nothing. It’s a short read about Relic’s past, which easily could have been incorporated into any other issue in a panel here and a panel there. For an entire issue to completely focus on what equates to a backstory for a questionable character with a questionable storyline – at best – is unconscionable. 

Venditti basically gives us a Galactus-like origin story for Relic told through narration with a twist on the light source being an actual physical resource and one that can be depleted. As this is “Green” Lantern, I suppose we are getting the “green” comic book version of events that may or may not be going on in our everyday life with the argument humans are using Earth’s resources, and rather selfishly at that; however, here, it applies to all the Lantern corps.

Similar to Forever Evil #1, Green Lantern #23.1 doesn’t excite me for what is to come. As DC seems to be riding on Marvel’s coattails with the “.1” issues (DC didn’t get the memo those weren’t big sellers or popular for Marvel?), these seem to be just filler and can be completely avoided, just like Marvel’s own. These issues should have been filled with a big wow moment – a hook ending – to entice the reader as well as the fan that just bought the issue for the gimmick. Sadly though, Green Lantern #23.1 falls short. There was nothing in the issue to make me really care about Relic: He didn‘t destroy the previous universe, and he doesn’t even have powers. He is a scientist with a theory thats shows up in the Green Lantern universe. I was left saying: So what?

The art was average at best; A) I’m not a big fan of the Relic character design, and B) Morales really didn’t go out of his way to give us some cool looking aliens, which is what I expect in any cosmic book. Colors were great, but overall it just wasn’t that impressive.

Green Lantern #23.1 reads as if it DC Editorial mandated the creative team go out of their way because it’s the month of “September,” and it completely shows. This is just unacceptable.

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Review: Forever Evil #1

The start of DC Comics’ latest September event is here with Forever Evil #1; however, the only thing forever about it is it’s dull and predictable storyline.

The issue reads as if we have been there done that, as we basically have; the Justice League is no more and their evil counterparts from another world invade the Earth leaving the villains to pick up what’s left.

Where Johns fails entirely with the issue is setting up the rest of Villains month as all the DC New 52 bad guys come off as pathetic, shallow, unimportant characters that one could care less about reading elsewhere let alone in a new #1 3-D covered issue for four bucks a pop. The dialogue comes off as artificial (telling Grodd “maybe we should listen to these humans”) as well as cliche (everything Ultraman says) and utterly boring. The issue is just not satisfying for the launch of a big event and lacked any big wow moments or surprises.

The art of David Finch and Richard Friend while satisfying seemed a bit heavy on the inks as every panel is filled with lots of black and dark shading and colors. At times it even seemed as if characters body parts were out of proportion with their heads, chins and body sizes (Nightwing, Luthor). I’ve seen better art from Finch in the past as this just didn’t seem as detailed as I would have liked.

As it stands, if you are on a budget, Forever Evil #1 might be a nice bookend to the overall story with the Villain Month issues being able to be skipped completely as the gist of the story looks to continue when the Justice League return. Until then it just looks like a filler storyline.

Sorry, Forever Evil #1 just wasn’t impressive.

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Justice League #23 Last Page Spoiler: Trinity War Conclusion

First spoiled by DC a couple weeks ago, they now have gone and done it again on their Facebook page by posting the last page spoiler to Justice League #23, the conclusion to Trinity War.

If you haven’t been following the news or purchased the issue this past Wednesday, DC posted the big reveal earlier today.

Revealed as the big bads of Trinity War as well as Forever Evil and leading into Villains Month is (drum roll, please)…

The Crime Syndicate!

Members include: Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Johnny Quick, Power Ring, and Deathstorm (Johns released further details).

Looks like Villains Month will be more an anti-hero month as Luthor and his crew are set to take on The Crime Syndicate while the Justice League is out of action.

In addition to Forever Evil and Villains Month which starts next week, DC also revealed that the JLA heads north and becomes Justice League Canada by Jeff Lemire due out Spring 2014.

Here is the last page spoiler for Justice League #23:

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DC Comics Announces Justice League Of Canada

Due to events from Trinity War, Forever Evil and Villains Month, DC Comics has announced the JLA will be no more, and in its place will be Justice League Of Canada.

Major changes are coming to the Justice League books as a result of the three events with the League (what’s left of it) relocating to Canada, specifically around the Toronto, Ontario area.

The series writer is Jeff Lemire, who told the Toronto Sun he’s excited.

“This is like my ultimate dream job,” said Lemire. “It sounds like a joke and something like this would never happen, but it is actually happening, and I couldn’t be happier.”

For fans of comic books, mention of Canada recalls Marvel’s Alpha Flight, a team of Canadian superheroes, but Lemire offers Justice League Canada won’t be like that.

“It’s not really like Alpha Flight, as we’re not creating a bunch of very Canadian characters,” Lemire said. “Like those characters are all almost clichéd Canadian archetypes. This is still very much set in the regular Justice League universe and the team will still have some of the bigger named superheroes, but they will actually be located in Canada now, and there will be a couple of new members who are Canadian. So obviously as a Canadian, and as a Canadian storyteller, it’s something I’m very proud of.”

“Justice League of Canada” hits Spring of 2014.

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Lex Luthor, Sinestro & Black Adam Are The Unholy Trinity For Villains Month Forever Evil Says Geoff Johns

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The DC Comics mega event, Villains Month, kicks off in September with Forever Evil.

The Justice League are presumed dead with a band of villains taking over to rule the world.

Cosmic Book News recently spoke with writer Michael Alan Nelson about the brand new Cyborg Superman (spoiler!), and Supergirl.

Now Geoff Johns gives an update to CBR mentioning the trio of unlikely allies with Lex Luthor, Sinestro and Black Adam – the “Unholy Trinity” of the event.

In the first scene they were [in] together when Lex is talking about some things he wants done, both Black Adam and Sinestro are going to start to agree on a lot of philosophical things, and suddenly they just realize they both think the same, in a bizarre way. I never thought they would! They get along, which I never expected.

However, not everyone will get along as Johns says two villains in particular will butt heads.

Captain Cold and Black Manta don’t really mix. It’s fun to see those villains come together and unite to do something kind of heroic in a bizarre way.

Forever Evil and Villains Month are not just about a group of villains coming together, but these Earth villains will be going up against another Earth’s team of villains.

Johns previously let a batch of spoilers loose in that Forever Evil will also feature the bad guy versions of the Justice League with The Crime Syndicate.

Forever Evil #1 hits September 4th.

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Geoff Johns Reveals Trinity War & Forever Evil Spoilers

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DC Comics is doing something different as of late regarding their big events; they are actually telling people what is to come instead of keeping them guessing.

The latest is regarding Forever Evil, the event that launches DC’s Villains Month this September.

Geoff Johns spoke with IGN and let loose a batch of spoilery details:

The world thinks the Justice League is dead.

Secret Society of Super Villains hasn’t been in control.

Revealed as the big bads is the Justice League’s Earth 3 counterparts – the Crime Syndicate!

Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Johnny Quick, Power Ring, and Deathstorm will start off as the members of the Crime Syndicate.

Ultraman will be the “uber villain.”

Johns says “evil is relative” and states not all the regular villains of the DCU will be happy with the Crime Syndicate.

Lex Luthor will be the series protagonist who forms his own Justice League team.

A Batman will be on the team, though Johns hints it may very well not be Bruce Wayne.

As both sides are considered villains, how each handles justice will vary as they don’t follow laws like the real Justice League.

“The Crime Syndicate will make some of our villains look like good guys. And then vice versa,” said Johns.

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Exclusive: Pak spills the beans on his terror trio for Villain’s Month: Darkseid, Doomsday and Zod

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Since the launch of the New 52 in the DC Universe in September 2011, the month has been a special one for comics readers. Last year saw the coming of Zero Issues of your favorite DC mags, featuring origins or untold stories of these “new” heroes.

This September, the villains are taking over, and in the thick of things is writer Greg Pak, who is scripting books with three titans of cosmic awe and power.

To discover the answers behind this trifecta, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer cornered Pak in a structure within the bottle city of Kandor and exclusively questioned the writer about his three fierce foes.

Cosmic Book News: First, Greg, for those who have been under a rock, tell us the concept behind DC’s Villains Month in September.

Greg Pak: In September, every regular DC book will be replaced by one-shot stories starring key villains. I’ll be writing the General Zod, Darkseid and Doomsday one-shots.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8910:]]CBN: How did you happen to get assigned three of the most powerful cosmic baddies in the DCU?

Greg Pak: I’m very grateful to editors Eddie Berganza and Mike Cotton, who pulled me on board. Eddie’s my Batman/Superman editor, so naturally we’ve been talking a ton about Superman and his various villains over the past few months. We’d also had a lot of conversations with Mike, who edits Earth 2, to coordinate the Earth 2 elements of the first Batman/Superman storyline. And of course in the New 52, Earth 2’s history is closely intertwined with Darkseid. So I guess over the weeks and months, we’d bounced around a bunch of ideas that laid the groundwork for some of these books.

CBN: With General Zod, will you be looking towards the Man of Steel movie in the building of this New 52 character?

Greg Pak: I actually finished the script a couple of weeks before I saw the movie, so the movie didn’t directly influence the story or characterization. But after seeing the movie, I think there’s some nice parallels there — they did some great things with Zod that resonate pretty nicely with some of the elements we’re introducing in our book.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8911:]]CBN: How will the New 52 Doomsday be different from past iterations? Is this the same entity every Kryptonian child had nightmares about?

Greg Pak: We’ll hear about Doomsday from three different characters during the course of the story. Readers will have to judge for themselves whose stories are the most reliable. But yes, this is a Doomsday that’s haunted Krypton in various ways for many, many years.

CBN: Darkseid was here at the beginning of the New 52 reality fighting the Justice League. What developments will we see in this classic cosmic baddie?

Greg Pak: We’re going to his homeworld of Apokolips to get the first New 52 glimpse into his terrifying origin. We’ll also learn the secret history of a character who’s having a huge impact on a few key DC heroes and who just might be the greatest thorn in Darkseid’s side.

CBN: Will the heroes whose books are being usurped this September make any appearances in your trio of tales?

Greg Pak: Darkseid is taking over Justice League, and yes, you will see a Justice League in the pages of the book. (Wink, wink.)

General Zod takes over Action and Doomsday replaces Batman/Superman for the month, and everything in those books will eventually have a huge impact on the world of Superman.

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CBN: What is the incentive for a reader to lay down four bucks to read about a villain?

Greg Pak: Because villains are awesome. In countless interviews, actors talk about how much fun it is to play villains. I think the same thing can be said of writers and readers. Villain stories can be enormously fun and scary. We’ve got some deliciously horrifying twists in here that we think you’re going to love. Also, we’re doing some surprising new things with these villains that could only be done in the New 52, so this is a great place to be surprised and get excited about what comes next.

CBN: I know it’s in the solicits, but tell me about the artists bringing your tales to life.

Greg Pak: Ken Lashley is drawing the Zod book. He’s bringing a great, jagged savagery to some key images in there that are blowing my mind. 

Brett Booth is taking on Doomsday. We’ve just started working together, but man, his enthusiasm is so exciting and he can draw anything, can’t he? He’s posted some concept sketches on his website that are already making me cackle. This is going to be an epically big, scary book.

Paolo Siquiera is drawing Darkseid, and if you’ve seen his Voodoo covers, you know he’s got the big imagination necessary to explore Apokolips in the New 52. I think there’s also something about his clean, beautiful lines that’s going to make big, craggy Darkseid even more scary. I can’t wait!

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CBN: Were you a fan of any of these villains? Anything major from their past appearances working its way into the New 52?

Greg Pak: Yes and yes. But I’ll say no more for fear of spoilers. Wait, I will say one thing… One of the glories of the New 52 is that we’re free to embrace awesome elements of classic characters while reimagining how they work in this new world.  I’m hoping long-time fans will feel the love we all share for these characters while thrilling to the big, crazy new stories we’re opening up here. 

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Greg Pak for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We would also like to thank DC’s own Alex Segura and Alex Nagorski who helped make this interview possible.

Villain’s Month hits the DCU New 52 in September with JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.1: DARKSEID, ACTION COMICS #23.2: ZOD, BATMAN/SUPERMAN #3.1: DOOMSDAY, and more!

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Gail Simone Wants To Do A Faora Comic Book For DC

Regardless what you felt about the Man of Steel movie, one stand out – at least for me – was the character of Faora, played by German actress Antje Traue.

Arguably she was more bad ass than Zod.

Well, I’m obviously not the only one that has noticed as a certain popular DC Comics writer known for her take on female characters has chimed in.

Gail Simone, presently writing Batgirl for DC and Red Sonja for Dynamite, and who has a fierce-fan following, wants Faora.

“I just want to write Faora. That’s all,” Simone tweeted.

Faora gave a great showing as a female comic book character in the Man of Steel; how about for DC Comics as well?

Let’s make it so Mr. DiDio!

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Brew’s Crew: Mongul, Dictator of Warworld

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(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)

By Byron Brewer

Like all the beings in the DCU, Mongul has gone through many roboots, revamps and even death.

We are not sure which version will wind up in the pages of Green Lantern during Villains Month in September, but we hope the New 52 Mongul is an awesome alien threat!

Don’t take this for canon: Mongul is the ruler of a planet called Warworld where he entertains himself with gladiator-style games of life and death — mostly death. Mongul once captured Superman to use him in those games, but the Kryptonian joined forces with the alien Draaga, forcing Mongul to flee.

Through torture, Mongul was forced to join the Cyborg Superman (currently returning in Supergirl, of all places!) in order go have revenge on Superman and to turn Earth into another “war world.” In the process, the hometown of Green Lantern Hal Jordan was destroyed, leading him to join Superman and others in his battle against Mongul.

After his defeat, Mongul was imprisoned in a prison for intergalactic criminals only to escape during a riot. His first target was Green Lantern, but the one he found was not Hal Jordan but Kyle Rayner. He was again defeated, this time by Rayner with help from Superman.

Mongul was re-imprisoned but escaped again (monotonous, isn’t it?), leaving nothing but death in his wake. His escape craft wrecked and Mongul was near death, but he was teleported to a planet where he is saved by its benevolent population. Mongul repaid this kindness by tyrannically taking over the world (from the pages of the evening news!). The populace surprises Mongul by giving in to a virus and mass suicide rather than his tyranny.

During the Underworld Unleashed storyline, the demon lord Neron began offering supervillains enhanced power in exchange for their souls, all by the lighting of a candle. Mongul was one of those offered the deal, but his pride caused him to decline and he threatened Neron. In response, Neron seemingly beat the alien ruler to death, taking his soul in the process.

As Mongul rises again in the New 52 during Villains Month, we hope for a more powerful, more threatening, more cosmic Mongul.

Since his co-creator Jim Starlin will be writing the epic tale, odds are pretty good!

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DC Comics Reveals Re-Designed New 52 Brainiac For Villains Month

We’ve already seen the Superman Brainiac Villains Month Cover, and now DC Comics has revealed a new character redesign for the Man of Steel foe.

Below you can check out Brainiac as a doctor experimenting on his son, and as the maniacal villain we all know after he’s mutilated himself into his present look.

Superman 23.2: Brainiac #1 hits in September.

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Justice League Villains Month Solicits Include Darkseid & Lobo

Here are the Justice League Villains Month solicits from DC Comics for this coming September.

Each cover will feature a special 3D gimmick cover.

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.1: DARKSEID
Written by GREG PAK
Art by PAULO SIQUERIA
3-D motion cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED TFor Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips, you conform or die. Now born into his realm is an anomaly who looks to challenge that. A trickster, who will go to any length to survive even if it means sacrificing worlds to do it—leading to an Earth shattering confrontation between The Man of Steel and a Dark Lord.

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.2: LOBO
Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT
Art by BEN OLIVER
3-D motion cover by AARON KUDER
On sale SEPTEMBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED TDeep in the dark corridors of space, lives a black-hearted being of unimaginable power. He’s witnessed horrors beyond description and committed unparalleled evils. In all of history, no being has ever been capable of as much chaos and terror as this lone individual. This is the story of the man called Lobo. He’s coming. And he’s bringing all of hell with him.

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.3: DIAL E
Written by CHINA MIEVILLE
Art by MATEUS SANTOLUOCO, JEFF LEMIRE, JOCK, ALBERTO PONTICELLI, DAVID LAPHAM, RICCARDO BURCHIELLO and others
3-D motion cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
On sale SEPTEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
You can’t stop dialing! In a special VILLAINS MONTH coda to the fan-favorite DIAL H series, a lost E-dial is discovered by four young criminals on the run in Littleville. But who is chasing them? And will they figure out how to control this nefarious 

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.4: SECRET SOCIETY
Written by GEOFF JOHNS and STERLING GATES
Art by MANUEL GARCIA and ROB HUNTER
3-D motion cover by MIKEL JANIN
On sale SEPTEMBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
An army of super villains has been built throughout The New 52 during 2013 — but for what purpose? Learn about the villains that have paved the way for the world of FOREVER EVIL.

Read More about Justice League Villains Month Solicits Include Darkseid & Lobo

Justice League of America Villains Month Solicits

DC Comics revealed the Justice League of America Villains Month solicits for September.

(Via Huffington Post)

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JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7.1: DEADSHOT
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by PASQUAL FERRY
3-D motion cover by TONY S. DANIEL and MATT BANNING
On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Is it a death wish that makes Floyd Lawton put on the mask of Deadshot? Or is something more sinister pulling at Floyd when he becomes a relentless assassin who feels nothing for his victims? Discover the truth behind Deadshot’s secret history in this issue!

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7.2: KILLER FROST
Written by STERLING GATES
Art by DERLIS SANTACRUZ
3-D motion cover by TONY S. DANIEL and MATT BANNING
On sale SEPTEMBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Not every villain is grateful to the Secret Society for ridding the world of the Justice League. For Killer Frost, only one thing matters: feeding off Firestorm’s energy! But with Firestorm gone, a desperate Frost is forced to decide whether she should search for the missing hero or find a new source for her power fixes.

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7.3: SHADOW THIEF
Written by TOM DeFALCO
Art by CHAD HARDIN
3-D motion cover by TONY S. DANIEL and MATT BANNING
On sale SEPTEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Where is the line between duty and villainy? For the new Shadow Thief, there is no question: Her mission to eradicate all alien life on Earth is above questions of morality. Armed with technology that allows her to become a living shadow, the Shadow Thief wages a covert war across the globe, but how long can she stay in the shadows before they consume her soul?

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7.4: BLACK ADAM
Written by GEOFF JOHNS and STERLING GATES
Art by EDGAR SALAZAR
3-D motion cover by TONY S. DANIEL and MATT BANNING
On sale SEPTEMBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Where is Black Adam? And what series of events is triggered when the Secret Society attacks Kahndaq? Discover all of this and much more in this issue!

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DC Comics September 2013 Green Lantern Villains Month Solicits

DC Comics revealed the Green Lantern September 2013 solicits for Villains Month.

 

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GREEN LANTERN: RELIC #23.1
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by RAGS MORALES and CAM SMITH
3-D motion cover by BILLY TAN
On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Who is Relic, and why must he kill every being in the universe who might wield the light of the emotional spectrum? Relic’s power could be the most formidable force the Lanterns have ever seen! This issue’s story incorporates Rags Morales’s recent variant covers from GREEN LANTERN, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS, RED LANTERNS and LARFLEEZE, now with inks, full color and script!

 

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GREEN LANTERN: MONGUL #23.2
Written by JIM STARLIN
Art by HOWARD PORTER
3-D motion cover by BILLY TAN
On sale SEPTEMBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Deep in space, an unstoppable force is committing genocide on a galaxy-wide scale, and only the strongest will survive! Be warned, because nothing can prepare you for an all-new Warworld under the absolute rule of the tyrant called Mongul!

 

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GREEN LANTERN: BLACK HAND #23.3
Written by CHARLES SOULE
Art by ALBERTO PONTICELLI
3-D motion cover by BILLY TAN
On sale SEPTEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
In a world with no heroes, death lies behind every turn! Black Hand arrives to take advantage of Forever Evil, and he may be the most dangerous player yet! And when last we saw him, Black Hand was a pile of dust in the Dead Zone! How did he manage to return?

 

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GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO #23.4
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by DALE EAGLESHAM
3-D motion cover by BILLY TAN
On sale SEPTEMBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Years ago, Sinestro used his Green Lantern ring to utterly dominate his home planet of Korugar, all in the name of “protecting” his people. It’s the mistake that turned his name into a curse, and brought down the greatest Green Lantern of them all… but one never-before-seen moment from those dark days holds the key to his future!

Read More about DC Comics September 2013 Green Lantern Villains Month Solicits

DC Comics September 2013 Superman Villains Month Solicits

DC Comics revealed the September 2013 solicits for the Superman Villain Month titles.

Each title will features a special 3D gimmick cover.

(via IGN and zap2it)

 

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Action Comics #23.1: Cyborg Superman

Written by Michael Alan Nelson

Art by Mike Hawthorne

3-D motion cover by Aaron Kuder

On sale September 4 – 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US – RATED T

Deep in space sits a cybernetic force of evil unlike any other. What terrible connection does Cyborg Superman share with Krypton? And what alien force commands the robotic terror? Find out here!

 

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Action Comics #23.2: General Zod

Written by Greg Pak

Art by Ken Lashley

3-D motion cover by Gene Ha

On sale September 11 – 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US – RATED T

General Zod storms into The New 52! Witness the origin of this genocidal maniac, and learn how far he will go to destroy those who oppose him!

 

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Action Comics #23.3: Lex Luthor

Written by Charles Soule

Art by Raymund Bermudez

3-D motion cover by Aaron Kuder

On sale September 18 – 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US – RATED T

Evil genius, sadistic businessman, sociopathic inmate — Lex Luthor is all this and more. Now released from prison, there is nothing to stop Luthor from getting his way … not even Superman!

 

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Action Comics #23.4: Metallo

Written by Sholly Fisch

Art by Will Conrad

3-D motion cover by Aaron Kuder

On sale September 25 – 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US – RATED T

Before he became Metal-Zero, John Corben had two great loves: his country and Lois Lane. Awakening from a coma after the events of Action Comics #8, Corben finds himself betrayed by both — and now his Kryptonite heart beats only for revenge! And when he joins up with the Secret Society, there’s no limit to the destruction he can cause!

 

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    SUPERMAN #23.4: PARASITE

    Written by AARON KUDER

    Art by AARON KUDER

    3-D motion cover by AARON KUDER

    On sale SEPTEMBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

    Parasite: Noun. An organism that lives in or on another organism. Preferably Superman.

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      SUPERMAN #23.1: BIZARRO

      Written by SHOLLY FISCH

      Art by JEFF JOHNSON and ANDY SMITH

      3-D motion cover by AARON KUDER

      On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

      Lex Luthors’s sinister plan to manipulate Superman’s genetic material to create a mindless soldier under his control results in the monster known as Bizarro: opposite of Superman in every way, with no compassion, no remorse and no mercy!

       

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        SUPERMAN #23.2: BRAINIAC

        Written by TONY BEDARD

        Art by PASCAL ALIXE

        3-D motion cover by GENE HA

        On sale SEPTEMBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

        Brainiac was the first adversary Superman fought on Earth, but where did he come from? A lineage that spans the universe holds many secrets when we ask, “Who is Brainiac?”

         

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          SUPERMAN #23.3: H’EL

          Written by SCOTT LOBDELL

          Art by DAN JURGENS and

          NORM RAPMUND

          3-D motion cover by GENE HA

          On sale SEPTEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

          After his last battle with Superman, H’el wakes up on Krypton years before it is destroyed! Can H’el manipulate the Science Counsel, soldiers and countless others including Jor-El, to save the planet? And what does it mean for the birth of Superman if he succeeds?

            Read More about DC Comics September 2013 Superman Villains Month Solicits