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The Society Pages

Justice Society of America #38

In the present day, the Darkness Engine activates, and every superhero and supervillain in the world gets depowered, leading to a bunch of deaths (Aquaman and everyone in Atlantis, plus all the Earth-based Green Lanterns) and a lot of injuries (Superman barely survives a steep fall). After that, all the world’s heroes are rounded up by the new Nazi regime. And in the future, Nazi media personalities are making small-talk before the special state execution of Batman to commemorate a visit by the Fuhrer. Mr. Terrific is pretending to collaborate with the Nazis in an attempt to acquire technology to knock out the Darkness Engine, and to complete the scheme, he needs to pay a visit to the infirmary to get medical supplies — and the easiest way there is to have someone beat him halfway into a coma. Are any of his ex-superhero friends willing to deliver the necessary beatdown?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a pretty grim story — okay, it’s a very, very grim story — but that’s to be expected from these kinds of time travel epics. There are several good surprises here and there, too. These Nazis are really unpleasant to have to read — I sure hope they pay us back by having a heck-of-a-lotta Nazi bludgeonings before this is all over.

The Guild #2

Cyd Sherman is on top of the world — her mostly-shallow punk rock boyfriend Trevor wants her to contribute more to his band, write some songs, help with marketing, you name it. No, wait, he’s gonna grab the credit for all that and continue to mostly ignore her. So it’s back to the fantasy world of “The Game,” where she meets some more friends, goes on some more quests, fights some zombies, and picks some bluebells. On one hand, playing the game is helping her stick up for herself more — on the other hand, she’s slacking off on some of her other duties… and her relationship with Trevor takes a surprise turn…

Verdict: Ehh, thumbs down. A bit more soap-opera than I’m interested in handling. I know that’s half the point of comic books, but I still have a hard time working up much enthusiasm for the evolution of Cyd’s neuroses.

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World of Dungeons and GuildQuest Online


The Guild #1

Backstory? Yes, backstory. “The Guild” is a comedy webseries focusing on a bunch of people who play a fantasy MMORPG, created by and starring Felicia Day, who got a lot of attention a year or two ago when she co-starred in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” Day plays Cyd Sherman, a very insecure woman whose alter ego in “The Game” is Codex, the healer for a dysfunctional online guild that calls itself the Knights of Good.

Well, Dark Horse Comics offered Day a shot at writing a miniseries based on her webseries. While the show focuses on Cyd after she’s been playing the game for a while, the first issue of the series functions more like an origin story for her. We meet her while she’s in therapy, playing in an orchestra, getting mostly ignored by her moronic boyfriend, obsessed with becoming a rock star. She tries out the game on a whim, desperate to find a way to re-invent herself as a happier, more successful person, and quickly grows to love the action and roleplaying of the game. Will she let the game take over from her real life?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’ve never managed to get into the webseries, but the comic is pretty cute. I’m sure you’ll get a lot more out of it if you’re an avid fan of the series, but even if you’re not, it’s well-written, with a great eye for all the crazy background stuff in MMOs (No surprise — Day is a big fan of the “World of Warcraft” MMO), and the illustrations are great, too. Go pick it up.


X-23 #1

This one-shot spotlights one of Marvel’s weirder concepts — Laura Kinney, the angsty gender-switched clone of Wolverine. X-23 is visiting the Big Apple with Wolverine while they investigate a series of murders of former mutants, on behalf of Jubilation Lee, former X-Man and ex-mutant. That only lasts a few pages before Laura goes running off on her own to… I’m not really sure what. She somehow runs into a bunch of homeless mutants she used to run with in the “NYX” series. And there’s something with some kind of psychic entity that wants something from her.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I wanted to like this one, but it just didn’t make any real sense to me. But the art by Filipe Andrade and Nuno Alves is absolutely beautiful and unlike anything you’ll see in a mainstream comic.

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