Convergence: Nightwing & Oracle #1

ROUNDUP – Comics for 08 April 2015

Convergence hit the DC Multiverse this past comics week!

Three of the spin-off titles involves characters from “pre-Flashpoint” Gotham a.k.a. the Dick!Bats era during which Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne were Batman & Robin, Stephanie Brown was Batgirl, Tim Drake was Red Robin, etc. It’s one of my favourite periods of modern era comics, so of course I had to check them out!

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Grayson #4

GUEST POST – Trope Subversion in Grayson

I didn’t get a chance to review either Grayson #7 or Grayson #8 thanks to Life Stuff™. Sadness. I’d really wanted to cover Grayson #8, since it’s the last issue we’ll be getting for two months (until DC Comics’ Convergence event gets out of the way). But I ended up having to make a super last minute overseas trip, on emergency family business, alas, and computer time has been low on the ground here. Once I get home later this week, I hope to do a Grayson retrospective summing up all eight issues so far, but suffice to say that issue #8 was a fantastic “season 1 finale” to this fledgling series and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

For now, I’m all over this amazing commentary that my friend Zina has agreed to share here. One of my favourite things about Grayson is how it goes “against the grain” to typical comic books, and the spy genre especially, and Zina has de-constructed the exact nuances of that with way more skill than I could ever manage. So enough talk from me, onward to the post!

Grayson #8

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Ivar, Timewalker

COMMENTARY – Ivar, Timewalker #2

Ivar Anni-Padda, the eldest of an ancient clan of legendary adventurers, has spent his life tracking time arcs – portals that allow him to travel to different periods in Earth’s history. He is brilliant, cunning, charming, and more than a little devious. He is… Ivar, Timewalker.”

Thanks to an article/review by Chris Sims at ComicsAlliance, I have become acquainted with a cool new indie comic series called Ivar, Timewalker. Published by Valiant Comics, written by Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Clayton Henry (pencils) and Brian Reber (colours), Ivar, Timewalker is like Doctor Who, except–in my opinion–less boring and pretentious. It’s a sort of self-aware pastiche, where the comic’s creators seem to have put their own spin on the concept of a lone, dashing time-traveler in a three-piece suit and his educated-but-new-to-time-travel-shenanigans human companion. Unconstrained by TV budgets, however, they’re free to tell an adventurous story that feels exciting, unpredictable, mysterious, and just plain fun.

Plus, my initially favourable impression that they based their “companion” character on Martha Jones only ballooned once I realised the character was actually a physicist (PhD and all) of South Asian descent. Brown girls represent!

Issue #1 sees Ivar rescue/hijack Dr. Neela Sethi, and take her across time and space to flee from the Promeathans, “a group of artificial cyborg drones from the Fifth Dimension (as someone who has often been kept awake pondering beings who’ve figured out how to manipulate the fifth dimension, this is hitting all my metaphysics buttons). It ends with a shocking revelation–that an older, cybernetically-enhanced is the leader of these Promethans, from the vantage of an orbiting city no less, and she’s out for revenge against Ivar. Is Ivar really a good guy, or is he the bad guy of the piece, having betrayed Neela in some terrible way? The shades of grey here are super intriguing, not to mention older cyborg Neela looks totally badass.

I took the opportunity to review Issue #2 for Word of the Nerd – check it out on the site, or under the cut below.

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Secret Origins #8

5 Things We Learned From Secret Origins #8

Secret Origins launched back in April 2014 with three origin stories: Superman, Supergirl, and the first Robin, Dick Grayson. This last was penned by Kyle Higgins, who had already given us his take on the New 52 origin of Robin in Nightwing #0. His Secret Origin story — which I found to be poignant and lovely — turned out to be an expansion of that, in a way; continuing the #0 issue, while also correcting some of the problems readers had with it.

So I was surprised to see that Dick Grayson would getting a second go-around in Secret Origins, this time in issue #8. Ostensibly, this story is meant to be the origin of Dick as a secret agent for Spyral. In actuality, it’s more of a “stock-take” for Dick Grayson in the New 52. Written by Tim Seeley (who has yet to write a comic I have disliked – I hope he takes the lead on more Grayson stories in the coming months) and illustrated by Stephen Mooney, the conceit of this particular “secret origin” is that it’s a history of the character re-told by Helena Bertinelli to her boss at the secret spy agency Spyral.

Given that the Batfamily timelines are a bit of a mess in the reboot DC universe, getting us up to speed is no bad thing. Read on to see what we learned (and/or confirmed) in Secret Origins #8.

Secret Origins #8

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Memetic #1

COMMENTARY – Memetic #3

If you’ve been anywhere near Tumblr lately, you’ll probably been exasperated by the “crave that mineral” meme that has inexplicably and rapidly went viral, to the point where even luxury brands like Tiffany’s and Mercedes-Benz were referencing it on their social media accounts. It’s not the first meme to gain traction and it won’t be the last, but it felt particularly relevant as I caught up on Memetic, a three-part comic series published by BOOM! Studios.

Memetic, created and written by James Tynion IV (BatmanBatman Eternal), also features an animal-based image (a sloth) slowly taking over the internet. People go into a frenzy over it, as they often do with internet memes, but things take a sinister turn when said frenzy involves homicidal zombification.

I wrote a review of Memetic #3 (the final part of the mini-series) for Word of the Nerd — you can find it here, and I’ve also cross-posted it below.



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