Hello everyone! Welcome to Week 2 of the New to DCU Book Club, where we will be reading and discussing comics currently coming the DC Universe Infinite.
What is this club?
We will be discussing stories big and small. Both Batman and Adam Strange, while making sure that you have ALL the context that you need to enjoy the story. You are missing as few details as possible, and that you will be able to understand everything. We will also be following a reading order I wrote to read the stuff you will need to enjoy Future State and Infinite Frontier. You can see the reading order HERE . As the weeks progress, we will read books including
- Wonder Woman
- Death Metal (and it’s tie-ins)
- Joker War (and it’s tie-ins)
- Strange Adventures
- Far Sector (a phenomenal Green Lantern Story)
- Justice League Dark
- Rorschach by James Tynion and more.
There are series I’m missing. Some missing stories are great stories, while others are mediocre. Some notable titles are missing like Superman and Aquaman and this is because I’ve decided either 1) The run isn’t worth your time (like Superman) or 2) That the run is too far in to be accessible for jumping right in(Like Superman and Aquaman).
This is our first week where we are reading issues from different stories. This week we are reading Death Metal #1-2, Batman #95, and Strange Adventures #1-3
Death Metal is VERY context heavy as it’s the end result of the two years of set up. If you are new, go in expecting to be a little confused at times but reading my guide for the BARE basics should be enough to understand the gist.
Batman #95 contextually requires the books you read last week (Batman #86-94). If you didn’t finish it, feel free to keep reading and discussing your thoughts here:
Strange Adventures #1-3 require nothing really. Adam Strange is a fairly obscure character and as such the issue is written assuming you know very little.
Context and the plot so far: Death Metal
Step in for a lot…. There’s a lot of cosmic stuff here that can be very convoluted because it’s based on the last 3 years of comics. DON’T GO READ IT ALL. IT’S A LOT TO READ. Instead you are better off getting the gist of what happened and then jumping right in.
Part 1) Dark Nights: Metal
This is the first Metal Series. I really like it, but Death Metal is something different. In Dark Nights Metal, Batman discovered that there was a dark multiverse as well as the multiverse he lived in. The dark multiverse contains versions of his own worst nightmares. For example, a version of him where he killed joker and was poisoned with Joker toxins. It made him The Batman Who Laughs.
There are other examples, but they aren’t super important for this series.
After Batman discovers the dark multiverse, the Batman who Laughs got 7 evil Batmen together and they tried to take over the good version of Earth (Earth-1, Earth Prime, or Earth-0. I forget what the main world is called these days). In order to beat the Batman who laughs and the evil Batmen, Batman tried to craft a set of armor of nth metal, and discovered the Bat God Barbatos. After freeing a possessed Hawkman. Batman used the world forge which Barbatos was guarding to craft a set of Armor that could fix the universe. Batman removed the evil Batmen from the picture and the heroes won. However, in remaking the universe, they broke the source wall, a magical wall that exists at the edge of the universe to protect the universe.
Part 2) Justice League (2018)
The piece of the source wall that the heroes broke, landed on Earth and Lex Luthor’s Legion of Doom, and the Justice League fought over it to try and study it. The Justice League won and began to study it, but Luthor wasn’t done yet. He captured the Batman who Laughs and made him agree to not interfere with his plans. The Batman who Laughs agrees but has plans of his own (We will discuss this when we read the Batgirl comic later). For now, all you need to know is that Luthor stole the piece of the source wall and discovered that there was a goddess named perpetua. Perpetua created the multiverse, but her children (the monitor, anti-monitor, and the world forger) captured her because she was evil and locked her up in the source wall (which is now destroyed). Lex Luthor manages to summon her and plans to be her champion. Lex beats the Justice League in a deeply convoluted event called Year of the Villain and beats the Justice League. The Justice League teleports away and prepares to fight one last time. This is where the Justice League series ends.
Part 3) Hell’s Arisen
The final part of year of the villain is a battle between the Batman who Laughs and his soldiers versus Lex Luthor (who has made himself into an alien creature) to be perpetua’s champion. The Batman who laughs wins and becomes Perpetua’s champion. At some point between Hell’s Arisen and Death Metal, there is a huge battle between Perpetua and the Batman who Laughs and the Justice League, however we don’t get to see it. Instead Death metal begins 3 months after the Batman who Laughs has control of the earth.
Important characters not already mentioned
Sergeant Rock: He’s an obscure DC character
Swamp Thing: He’s a plant based character who has control of the green, the force of green nature. When the green is weak, he is weak. When plant-life is weak, he is weak.
Wonder Woman: Diana Prince. You should know her from the Wonder Woman movies. She also has an invisible jet. That’s all you really need to know for this.
Lobo: A Pale Alien Humanoid who regenerates quickly and is very Metal.
Wally West (Redhead with Blue Flash Suit: He is the 2nd Flash. We will discuss his past more later. For now, just know that he has some of the power of Doctor Manhattan.
Doctor Manhattan: A being from the Watchmen comic who has been manipulating DC. He is basically omnipotent and omniscient and omnipresent.
JSA: In the 1940s, there were heroes who helped fight for justice including: the first Flash, the first Green Lantern, Catman, and Doctor Fate. For all intensive purposes we are going to call them the Prototype versions, so Jay Garrick is the prototype flash while Barry is the first flash. You can disagree with my take, but it’s easier to explain if Barry is the first flash.
Death Metal #1-2
Is this your first time reading it? If not, how does it feel coming back to it? If yes, what are your initial thoughts? Did the context guide help?
Do you like how Snyder skips over a big battle, but tries to fill in gaps with the narrative?
Who is your favorite Batman introduced in these issues?
What do you like (and dislike) about this alternate earth so far?
We will be reading Death Metal #3 in a couple of weeks.
Batman #95: The Story so far
Batman over 3 months rebuilds Gotham to make it safer. However, 4 super assassins come to distract batman. Slowly, various players from an old secret plan, realize that the Designer is back implementing a plan they created to take over Gotham. Catwoman, realizing the plot to steal Wayne Fortune, tries to steal it for herself, but gets captured by Punchline (Joker’s new accomplice) and gives Joker all the Wayne money. Meanwhile Batman beats the designer who turns out to be an animated corpse of the jokers. Now the Joker has the Wayne Fortune and he’s prepared to start a war.
Is this your first time reading it? If yes, what are your initial thoughts? Did the context guide help?
What are your thoughts on Punchline? Are you enjoying her, or is she kinda mediocre?
What is your favorite moment?
Context: Adam Strange is a human who got ahold of a jetpack and fought a war on the planet Rann. He got married. That’s what you need to know!
Strange Adventures #1-3
What do you make of the questions Terrific answered, why did King make that such an important part of this issue. What do you think King is teasing when discussing stories like the chess one?
Most of the stories alternate the scene per page. Why would King alternate the pages between scenes?
The lettering makes distinct choices between the Rann and Earth scenes. What can you gain from looking at that?
NOTE FOR EVERYONE
Please only read what you want to read. Also to encourage discussion, please format all comments like my comment below so that people can engage discussing the weekly books they read and ignore the books they haven’t read yet.