The DC Week In Review with Dylan
Why hello there, welcome to the DC Week in Review, where you and I will take a beautiful adventure through the pages of DC Comics from this past week. Let’s start off with a pretty big piece of news.
Mr. Oz’s Identity to be revealed in September?
Through the recently released solicitations for September, we discovered that in “Action Comics #987” “The identity of Mr. Oz rocks the last son of Krypton to his core”. Now that is a really bold statement seeing as how Superman has been around for a long time. How could the identity of the mysterious Mr. Oz effectively surprise Superman? However, there is a character that most fans (including myself) have been speculating about since the Geoff Johns Rebirth special . OZ could be the “Watchmen” character Ozmandias, a character Superman should not be too familiar with, therefore, I can’t foresee it “shaking him to his core”.
Oz (not Ozmandias) is a character has been popping up in Superman books since the New 52, so that means there is a vast pool of characters for the writers to pull from if they wanted to go for random shock factor. There are two options that I could see (not including Ozmandias) with them being Pa Kent (because who doesn’t love extremely random and sometimes illogical parental reveals), or a version of Lex Luthor. Perhaps a Luthor from the pre-Flashpoint universe. Nevertheless it’ll be interesting to see who gets revealed to be the mysterious hooded man come September, and how it’ll tie into the upcoming event “Doomsday Clock” and perhaps it’ll even be the kick start to the event.
DC Announces Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary
Just about everybody has their favorite version of Harley Quinn. I prefer The Batman: The Animated Series (and early comics) version of the character. DC Comics has been loving the character for quite a bit of time now, which is evident by them doing a 25th anniversary book, an honor that has escaped some less popular characters. (I might only be slightly bitter still about Booster Gold’s lack of a 25th anniversary special in 2011).
The Harley Quinn special will feature stories written by Amanda Conner, Chip Zdarsky as well as Paul Dini and will feature two covers with two distinct style. Bruce Timm will be designing one after the famous Batman: The Animated Series and Jim Lee will be doing one stylized after her Suicide Squad movie look.
The book will be released Wednesday September 6th and for all you Harley fans, make sure to pick this book up at Uncanny!
The Return of Tim Drake
The September solicitations for “Detective Comics #965” revealed that we’ll be able to look into the current predicament that Tim Drake has found himself in. And for those who haven’t been keeping up with Detective Comics (you should it’s a really good Batman/Bat-family book), Tim Drake seemingly met his demise in the attempt to save Gotham in the first arc.
Now this book releases two weeks after the reveal of who Mr. Oz is and that will certainly play a part in this arc as I’m sure a portion of it will take place in the prison where Tim is imprisoned. But the potentially more interesting aspect of the book will be the identity of who Tim’s cellmate is. We’ve been slowly finding out who Oz has in that prison of is (Doomsday, Prophecy, and Mr. Mxyzptlk) so it’ll be an interesting note to see who he’s locked up with. Maybe another pre-52 character?
DC Comic of the Week
The comic of the week goes to “Batman #25” which is the start of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” event written by Tom King. The event is set during and right after the events of Zero Year (which you can read about in Batman New 52 Volumes 4 & 5), and the premise of it is a full out turf war between The Riddler and The Joker.
The storyline is interesting as the book starts off for the Joker looking for a reason to laugh again. There’s this really interesting starting point where there’s a comedian telling jokes, and he gets shot because the ‘director’ didn’t laugh. The next person comes out, and is told to move the body before starting and the next panels shows a large collection of dead comedians.
A little further on in the book, The Joker is in the back of a taxi and he tells a simple joke “A man goes to a toy store and says he would like to buy a new boomerang and also he would like to know how to throw his old one away” Now, the cab driver laughs and finds it to be funny, but The Joker simply says that it isn’t and then shoots the cab driver.
This is King’s first shot at writing the Joker character. His story should be considered a Joker Year One, where we'll discover unexplored depths of the character during his first year of being "The Joker". This Joker is ruthless and savage in the way he operates, we won't get the grand expressions or laughs and complicated jokes we are so accustomed to. This is a disgruntled, broken man who just can’t seem to laugh, more than likely because he has yet to discover the "joke".
The reason for Joker and Riddler squaring off with one another is incredibly intriguing because as writer Tom King states “When you look at them, what the difference is between a joke and a riddle? The Joker is chaos personified there are no answers, everything is surprising and new and weird. The Riddler is quite the opposite, everything is strict, everything is solved, it basically becomes chaos vs order, fascism vs. anarchy”.
This is a book that I had to read twice because I needed to understand why it was special. Upon the first read, my comments were mostly about how it was an average yet somewhat interesting opening issue to Tom King’s biggest arc yet. However with the second read through, I took my time and noticed all the little details. Like the fact that throughout the book, you never see The Joker smile once. He has this permanent frown on his face that’s uncharacteristic and as a long time Batman reader, this makes the character even more unsettling. As you get used to the terrifying fact that he does all of these horrible things and smiles while doing so. When the Joker cuts off Alfred’s hand in “Endgame” he smiles, and it’ sick and disgusting. But here, when Joker shoots a man for laughing at his joke, a joke that Joker himself couldn’t laugh at. It’s eerie.
So upon my second read through of the book, I’ve decided to give Batman #25 a 9/10”
Thank you for checking out DC Week in Review with Dylan, stay tuned for next week when we return like a vengeance in the night. Until then, swing by Uncanny! To pick up a copy of Batman #25.
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