Aquaman: Unspoken Water
Unspoken Water was DC’s big splash (sorry, not sorry) following the first Aquaman movie. They grabbed the writer who redefined Captain Marvel and set her loose against the King of the Seven Seas. Kelly Sue DeConnick strips Arthur Curry of his memory and abandons him upon a seaside village. How did he get here? Where should he be? A nagging sensation claws at his mind, but before he can answer such personal questions, he must contend with the wretched horrors plaguing the island town.
What starts as a story seemingly freeing Aquaman from his muddled continuity eventually forms into a warm love letter for a character too many are quick to mock. As we know, Aquaman has always been cool, and the more play he gets in popular entertainment, the more obvious this notion becomes. He’s not just a dude who talks to fish.
Batman/The Flash: The Button
So, there are a lot of great Flash stories. However, in framing this selection within The Snyder Cut, the most Snyder-y Flash comic is one featuring Batman. Of course.
The Button was designed to tease Watchmen‘s arrival within DC continuity. The gargantuan Doomsday Clock maxi-series saw Doctor Manhattan and his fellow cohorts collide with Superman and his amazing friends. The result was…somewhat lacking. That being said, the loooooong buildup to its release was peppered with several tantalizing stories, and The Button is the best one.
Batman weirdly discovers The Comedian’s bloodstained smiley-face button in the Batcave. While he’s researching its dimensional properties, the diabolical Reverse-Flash roars into his domain and nearly beats Batman to death. The Flash arrives on the scene, but his rival is gone, and so is the button. After the careful application of a few bandaids, Batman joins The Flash on a hunt through time and space. It’s a chase that brings both heroes face-to-face with their greatest regrets. Thank you, Multiverse.
During the heat of battle, Cyborg is struck down. Wonder Woman and Batman stare at his corpse in disbelief. Before they can comprehend the deadly blow, Cyborg pops back up again. His machine half resurrects his biological half. Cyborg is more than he once was; he’s evolving.
Written by David F. Walker and illustrated by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado, Unplugged removes Cyborg from his supporting player status. He’s a damn weird creation, a perpetually modifying bruiser with total access to the electronic universe that controls our lives. A horde of similarly gifted aliens come gunning for Cyborg’s parts, and in defending his skin (or shiny hide), Cyborg shows the world he’s no sidekick or teen titan. If he ever got the right movie, he’d dominate fandom. What happened to Iron Man can happen for Cyborg.
Martian Manhunter: Identity
You only think you know Martian Manhunter. On his homeworld, J’onn Jonzz was a wretched piece of filth protected by a uniform. His only care, his own. When that life is destroyed through fire, the alien flees to Earth, where shame becomes his costume — until circumstances put him on the path toward redemption.
Identity explores how Martian Manhunter is not Superman. He’s not Batman. He’s a distraught individual, haunted by his past failings and desperate to be somebody he’s not. The twelve-issue series from Steve Orlando and Riley Rossmo presents a hero that’s anything but. Identity feels more like a Marvel comic than a DC one. It’s all about failure and how we should strive to fail better.
The hope coming out of The Snyder Cut is that the world will be craving more Jack Kirby goodness — Granny Goodness, that is. The sadistic Darkseid lackey raised Apokolips’ finest warriors into the most feared goon squad in the galaxy. Her Female Furies are fanatic killers who derive bliss from the slaying of the weak. So, why does their ruler refuse to acknowledge their superiority?
Writer Cecil Castellucci and artist Adriana Melo take the reader back to the Furies’ early days. When Granny Goodness unleashes them upon an unsuspecting universe, heroes rise to challenge them. Most fall quickly, but a few make a little noise. Mister Miracle introduces Big Barda to a new manner of thinking, a philosophy destined to shake Apokolips’ tyrannical infrastructure.
Female Furies is too damn fast of a read. It’s odd and ugly and beautiful and enticing. The pages rocket to their conclusion and you’re left with an empty feeling. Not that the book was unsatisfying, but that you want more. A lot more. These weirdo characters are rarely given the depth injected here. Sure, Big Barda and Mister Miracle are everyone’s favorite toys now but give Granny Goodness, Mad Harriet, and Aurelie their due. These outraged psychotics have a lot more to scream about. Let’s listen.
Previous 2 of 2