Superman: Red Son (Comic Book Review)

Red Son

Red Son

Here I am awake on a Saturday morning and with no inspiration to write about anything meaningful I’ve decided to write a review on one of my favourite Superman books; Superman: Red Son!

Originally published in 2003, Superman: Red Son is part of DC’s Elseworlds series of books that takes a different spin on their characters by re-imagining them in alternate universes. The most interesting thing about Red Son is the fact that Mark Millar re-imagines Supes as a Soviet hero and a Communist and yet he still manages to retain the heart of what makes Superman super. It’s pure genius!

Red Son seems to be simple on the outside but once you get into its pages there’s loads to explore. Mark Millar brilliantly writes in deeper themes such as capitalism vs. communism and also the decay of the U.S. into the story; all the while using Superman as a vehicle to explore these issues.The best part about it all that even in such an alien setting, Superman still stands out as the hero that he is.

If you’re a huge DC fan it’s a real thrill to catch Red Son incarnations of fan favourites such as Batman, Wonder Woman & Hal Jordan as Green Lantern (or more accurately a member of the Green Lantern Marine Corps, heh). Red Son is made even more super with its attention to details such as this.

Batman, Wonder Woman & Green Lantern

Batman, Wonder Woman & Green Lantern

Dave Johnson & Killian Plunkett’s art is pretty amazing too. Somehow the art evokes a 1950’s to 1970’s kind of feel yet it retains a modern take on things too. The Red Son version of Batman is totally awesome especially with his militarisque outfit and ushanka cap that’s part of his costume. Hal Jordan’s character design is pretty awesome too.

I give Superman: Red Son nothing less than a glowing RED 5 out of 5. No comic book fan should miss out on this brilliant book. I just loaned it out to one of my colleagues whom I’m indoctrinating into the world of comic books so let’s see what he has to say once he’s done with it.

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Quick GL Fact #1: The Green Lantern Corps

The Green Lantern Corps

The Green Lantern Corps

As a precursor to the movie, I’m launching a series on background information to the Green Lantern movie that just opened here in Malaysian shores last night.

Fact #1: There’s more than one Green Lantern in the universe; in fact there are 3,600 Green Lanterns who originate from thousands of worlds. 1 Green Lantern protects a sector of space containing a host of planets. For e.g. Earth sits in Sector 2814 and Hal Jordan would be responsible for all the planets in our system. That’s a lot of worlds to protect…

The movie bases this fact on the original Corps structure from the 80’s and 90’s I believe. The current incarnation of the Green Lantern Corps in the DCU features 2 Green Lanterns who partner each other to protect & defend their sectors. I guess it’d have been crazy to design 7,200 different aliens for the movie so it’s quite an amazing sight to see the Corps in all its glory on celluloid.

Think of the Green Lantern Corps as an intergalactic peace-keeping & police force and that pretty much sums up the organisation. So yep… look out for lots of interesting & diverse aliens if you get the chance to catch Green Lantern on the big-screen.

Of special note would be these iconic characters whom play a huge part in making the comic books rich:

  • Abin Sur: Even though he’s dead his legacy shapes Hal Jordan in many ways
  • Sinestro: This guy here is an essential character in the Green Lantern mythos
  • Kilowog: This huge alien trains every Green Lantern recruit
  • Tomar-Re: If I’m not wrong, this bird/fish-like alien was one of the first few Corps members to welcome Hal Jordan into their ranks; sadly he’s dead now in the DCU

Stay tuned for more Quick GL Facts in the coming days. I’ll try to put up one fact a day so as not to overload ya’ll!

Green Lantern (Movie Review)

Green Lantern

Green Lantern

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light.

And with that we begin the grand adventure that is Green Lantern’s debut on the silver screen. I had my doubts about Ryan Reynold’s being able to play Hal Jordan but I’m glad that I’ve been proven wrong.

Martin Campbell has done the Green Lantern pantheon justice and it’s a way better watch compared to Thor or X-Men: First Class. We have all the hallmarks that make the Green Lantern comic books what it is today:

  1. Abin Sur
  2. Sinestro
  3. Hector Hammond
  4. Parallax
  5. Kilowog
  6. Tomar-Re

I give Green Lantern a shining 5 out of 5 for its attention to Hal Jordan as a character. The costume’s not too great though… but it could’ve been worse. 😉

November 09′ Hot Picks

The Blackest Night Saga continues with Issue 4!

The Blackest Night Saga continues with Issue 4!

Ho ho! I just picked up the latest issue of DC’s on-going epic crossover and I just can’t wait for it to end. Each month is a grueling wait to see what the creative team of Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis have up their sleeves. The latest issue doesn’t detail much about what Hal Jordan & the Indigo Lanterns are up to and focuses very much on Barry Allen (the Flash), the Atom & Mera as they fend off the Black Lantern horde of undead heroes & villains on earth. Pretty cool stuff.

The Broken Steel logo

The Broken Steel logo

And here’s some news from the gaming front: Am in the midst of downloading the “Broken Steel” expansion also since I’ve been sitting on my unused credit on my Singapore PSN account. I’ve heard some good things about the expansion from my colleague over at 9/10.com. It’ll be good to continue the adventures of the Wasteland Wanderer and go past the level 30 cap. The download’s taking a bit of time so I might just leave my PS3 on today whilst I’m at work. Fallout 3 was and still is a great game. Am missing RPGs on the PS3 though and I’m very tempted to pick up a copy of Bioware’s “Dragon Age: Origins”. 😛

“Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” was really awesome and I’ve yet to find time to write up a review of the game. I’ll have to make time to do that cos’ there are quite a few differences compared to the original and while its a great game I think I preferred the original a lil’ bit more. The new one feels different even though it kept a lot of the gameplay elements of “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune”. Multi-player is fun too but it takes ages to get into a game cos’ you’ve gotta wait and wait for player match-ups. Look out for a review soon cos’ I really wanna write this one up properly.

I’ve also been re-reading a lot of my older comic books lately in my spare time on weekends and on what free week nights I have. I’ve been going back to the following old favourites on & off over the past few years and here are some books that you should look up if you’re into comic books:

  • Infinite Crisis
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • Earth X

Really good stuff. Anyways, just thought I’d write up something a bit more fun instead of all the serious reflections that I’ve been putting up in the last week or so.

Have a great day everyone!

September 09′ Hot Picks

Comic books are making a comeback in a big way! It’s exciting to see what’s happening right now with a wave of European writers making their presence felt in both DC and Marvel.

Blackest Night #3

Blackest Night #3

Geoff Johns, the scribe on the Green Lantern is causing waves in the DC Universe. Green Lantern fans won’t want to miss out on “The Blackest Night” maxi series that is currently on-going. I don’t really read much these days but I’m finding that lots of great stories are coming out from DC and it would seem as if Marvel is playing catch-up right now. The upcoming X Necrosha crossover in the X-books seems very much like Marvel is mimicking what’s going on with the “Blackest Night” event that’s happening all across the DCU. Why do I say that? Well, the free postcard that I picked up from the Mindshop Tuesday night had dead X-Men on it in Technovirus form. Heh. I’m kinda looking forward to that cos’ Clayton Crain’s doing art chores on that one for X-Force.

Necrosha X.

X Necrosha.

Back to “Blackest Night”. It’s pretty amazing what Johns is doing as he keeps me on the edge of my seat month after month with each issue. Good stuff indeed. I also picked up the “Rage of the Red Lanterns” trade which serves as a prelude to “The Blackest Night” and I found it to be a pretty good read too. Too bad I can’t say the same of DC’s “Final Crisis”. Anyways, keep an eye out for this and I’m glad I’m not reading up on spoilers online cos’ the writing in this series so far has been phenomenal. For the uninitiated “The Blackest Night” features lots of dead heroes & villains being raised all across the DCU by the mysterious “Black Lantern” rings. Who controls these rings? And why are the rings raising the dead? The answers have yet to be revealed and I’m gonna follow Geoff Johns as he takes his readers all the way to the very end! Let’s not forgot Ivan Reis’ fantastic artwork. Really, really good stuff!

Arkham Asylum.

Arkham Asylum.

On the gaming front I’ve just finished “Arkham Asylum” on the PS3 and it’s a short but really fun game. In fact I’m actually playing it on hard now and running around Arkham island looking for trophies and riddles to solve. The plot in the game is pretty alright and I must say that the voice work is top-notch. Of course one would expect nothing less from Paul Dini who has been writing “Batman: Animated” stories for the better part of the last decade or so. The game is brilliant in that the combo system is easy to pick-up and while simple it somehow doesn’t fall into the category of button-mashing. The graphics are pretty amazing but then again one wouldn’t expect anything less from a game that uses the Unreal engine.

If you’ve got a PS3 or XBOX 360 I highly recommend “Arkham Asylum” cos’ it’s a really fun romp as the Dark Knight. For those of you who’ve missed out on the first 3 issues of “Blackest Night” never fear cos’ I’m pretty sure that a tradepaperback is in the works and it’ll be handsomely bound in hardcover just like the 2 volumes I have that collects the entire Sinestro Corps War saga.

Till next time.

Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War (Vol. 1 & 2)

Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War

Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War

A really awesome read. I’ve been playing catch-up on loads of Green Lantern books over the past few months and “The Sinestro Corps War” 12 issue epic didn’t disappointed. In fact I must say that Geoff Johns and his team have done a bang-up job at putting the Emerald Warrior back in the spotlight.

I picked up both volumes of this intergalactic epic 2 weeks ago with my high school pal Yew Hein and couldn’t put it down for the last 2 days when I got started on Vol. 1 yesterday. In fact I just finished Vol. 2 today after I got back from work.

Big fights. Weird aliens. “The Sinestro Corps War” has got it all. I’m not gonna reveal any spoilers but if you’ve been following DC’s Crisis crossovers over the past few years you’re gonna be in for thrill ride to see villains from the previous Crisis stories appear here. Great stuff!

Green Lantern fans definitely won’t want to miss this one. I’ve always loved Hal Jordan as a kid and Geoff Johns really has done such a great job at revitalising the character for DC. I can’t wait to read more Green Lantern stuff in the future. Pick this one up at a book store near you.

Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)