dc_comics_logo_2013It has not been a good week for DC Comics, publicity wise. In the last week, the creators of Batwoman announced that they were leaving the title early, mostly due to editorial interference on a bunch of story points, including forbidding the planned plotline of Batwoman getting married to another woman. And while that particular story point was not, by the accounts of both the creators and DC Editorial, the primary cause for the split, but it’s what fired the imagination of half of the comics Internet (if by “imagination,” you mean “screeching hate frenzy”)… particularly once Dan DiDio, at this weekend’s Baltimore Comic Con, defended that particular decision by announcing that no DC superheroes are married. Even though a bunch of them, you know, are.

But Baltimore is over now, and the initial hubbub is starting to die down, so DC can get back to focusing on the comics, particularly the few that are left from the New 52 relaunch that still have consistent and successful creative teams. Like Geoff Johns on Aquaman. Right?

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aquaman_15_cover_2012“Aquaman doesn’t care about white people. Surly Irish drunken white people.”

-Me, after reading about the flooding of Boston in Aquaman #15.

Aquaman #15 is the second part of the Throne of Atlantis crossover (the first part was in this week’s Justice League #15), and the second issue in a row where the Justice League moves heaven and earth (well, mostly they move water, but you get my drift), in the aftermath of Atlantean tidal waves flooding three Eastern cities, to save Gotham and Metropolis… while allowing Boston to marinate in its own saltwater, spilled Guinness and seething, neverending rage at Manhattan. And while the Justice League does its level best to save everyone who isn’t in Boston, Aquaman’s brother is busy amassing an invasion force in Boston Harbor, with plans to sink the city to the bottom of the ocean – think Billy Joel’s Miami 2017, only instead of references to the Yankees and 42nd Street, it’s about the Red Sox and Lansdowne Street, and it’s not sung by some piano-playing wuss from Steinbrennerburg.

As a native Bostonian, I’m beginning to develop a persecution complex. Well, an even worse persecution complex.

But that kind of reaction will tend to happen when we’re in the second issue of a crossover event, and there is a lot of parallelization with the plot and events of the first issue, without very much forward motion or momentum from the first chapter in Justice League, although there is a pretty good cliffhanger at the end… even while Fenway Park is filled with Rays and Marlins – and not the good kinds from Tampa Bay or, well, wherever the hell in Florida the Marlins play what they pretend is baseball.

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justice_league_15_cover_2012Since last year’s New 52 relaunch, Geoff Johns has made it his personal mission to rehabilitate Aquaman’s reputation. Which is a somewhat Quixotic task, since Aquaman never had much of a reputation to begin with. I remember years ago, when superhero Underoos were finally released for sale, my mom brought me to the store late enough that all that were left were Aquaman Underoos… and I told her that I would rather parade around the schoolyard in tightie-whities than suffer the indignity of having to pretend to be Aquaman. I was 28. But that’s not the point.

But hey, everyone has an unlikely dream that they harbor deep in their hearts, and I don’t begrudge Johns his, even though I don’t think he’s quite delivered on it thus far. Hey, I have the secret fantasy that someday I, a bloated and drunken 41-year-old, can smack the home run that wins the Boston Red Sox their third World Series victory since 1918 despite never having played even Little League baseball, so I’m not gonna rank Johns out too much for his dream to make Aquaman cool, despite it arguably having a lower chance at success than mine.

After fifteen months of chasing the dragon, Johns has begin phase two of his unlikely Aquaman resuscitation (actually, given Aquaman’s inability to carry his own book for longer than seven years despite more than 70 years of history, perhaps “presuscitation” is a better word) by making Aquaman the focus of a big Justice League event, Throne of Atlantis. So finally, Johns has his main chance to give Aquaman some relevance, not only in his own title but in the DC Universe proper, by making the poor, fishfucking sonofabitch the focus of a story… but for it to work, the story better be a good one.

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Editor’s Note: One last review of the comics of November 28, 2012 before the comic store opens with the new stuff today…

I have never understood the general enthusiasm over the New 52 reboot of Aquaman, even though my co-editor Amanda liked it enough at the start to mutter things like, “Hero’s Journey” and “Joseph Campbell” and a bunch of other stuff that made me wish I’d learned more in college than the fluid dynamics surrounding beer bongs. For me, the sudden DC focus on Aquaman, who has never been able to support his own book for very long (his longest running self-titled book lasted 75 issues – about six years) stunk of a Trading Places-style Gentlemen’s Wager between Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio: “I will wager you, sir, one American dollar that I can transform this water-sucking, fishfucking, orange-pantsed fashion victim into a proper superhero!”

So I read the first few issues and then kind of tuned out – and I’ve just realized that I’ve said that about no less than three New 52 books in the past couple of weeks, which might be a topic for another time – but with Throne of Atlantis, the next big Justice League arc, on its way, I decided to check out Aquaman #14 to bone up and get a sense of what’s going on with the book.

The short answer? I have no fucking idea.

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The Sudafed finally mixed with the Jack Daniels and made a mellow, Earth-friendly body-meth, which gave us enough energy to complete Episode 3 of the Crisis on Infinite Midlive’s Podcast: The Fistula of Justice!

Thrill to two drunk sick people as they talk about the impact of the New 52, DC Comics’ new Neilsen Survey (Which sadly didn’t include the obvious question: Orange nip slip: horrifying moment or the most horrifying moment?), the overriding post-Catwoman question: are superhero comics sexist (“What’s wrong with being sexist?” “Not sexy, sex… Jesus, you really are a monster, aren’t you?”), and our sleeper favorite books of the week!

And to answer some questions from the show that are enigmas, wrapped in riddles, covered in mucous:

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Enjoy the show, sucker! And if you don’t, just hit that “Don’t Look” link up there!

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According to USA Today, Geoff Johns has the following to say about Aquaman, the latest superhero to get the patented Johns Silver Age spit polish:

“Everybody around has at least heard of Aquaman, and they’ve probably heard all the jokes — the same jokes Aquaman’s heard — and they have their opinion on Aquaman,” the writer says. “Whether it’s good or bad, that’s what the book’s all about.”

All you need to know to jump into this book is

He talks to fish. And he swims.

What? I’m not going to need to bone up on my knowledge of The Elder Gods, the way I benefited from my previous knowledge of Greek mythology while reading Wonder Woman (which I still think was pretty awesome, but Rob resented having to, you know, know stuff)? I can just sit down and blow through this without having to think about it or have any real knowledge of the DC continuity? Really?

Ok.

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As with every other Wednesday since this site’s launch, we must now end our broadcast day. Not just because of the comics, of which we have plenty…

…but because the Boston Red Sox are battling for a berth in the post-season against the Orioles, who are battling for a berth for being the douchebags who kept the Sox out of the playoffs.

But look at those books: the last of the New 52 including Geoff Johns’ Aquaman, All-Star Western, Superman, and Justice League Dark, which Amanda is just ITCHING for.

Plus, Yep: That’s Frank Miller’s Holy Terror, which we paid 30 dollars American (or for our overseas readers: 927,539 Euros) for what appears to be a Dr. Seuss-length treatise on How To Kick Mohammed’s Chosen In The Taint. And we WILL be reviewing it. Once Ortiz’s at-bat is over.

See you tomorrow, suckers!

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Promo image for DC Comics Aquaman 1, by Geoff Johns and Ivan ReisToday marks the last drop of DC’s New 52, which includes Aquaman #1, written by Geoff Johns with pencils by Ivan Reis (Who penciled Johns’ scripts on Green Lantern and the Blackest Night event). Which means yesterday Johns was making the rounds of the reputable comics sites (Hello? Is this thing on? It is? Fuck you, then!) trying to drum up hype for the book. Why? Because the book is fucking AQUAMAN. Without Johns’ hype? There would BE NO HYPE. None more hype. Hypeless.

So lay it on us, Geoff: why should we give Aquaman a shot?

…we just talked about [Aquaman] himself and why he does everything, how he feels about it, what he thinks when people crack the Aquaman jokes that are extremely easy to make. It’s all about responsibility and standing tall for what you believe in and not worrying about what other people think. It’s all about being an underdog. I think it’s much more based on stuff we deal with than any old comics.

Ah, yes. Because if I had a nickel for every time I was mocked for my green spandex pants, orange shirt and public affinity for “Sending a telepathic summons to the sperm whale,” well… I would have a nickel, because once would be enough to convince me that suicide was the only viable option.

Okay, all kidding aside, Geoff: what do you have in mind for Aquaman?

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