Thursday, August 28, 2014

Secret Origins #5

I don't plan to make it a thing to get this series too often but with no other new comics this week I'm not going to complain.



Marc Worfman definitely makes sense for the writer and I'm glad Johns isn't doing this. I just haven't been enjoying his writing lately. Anyway, we start with Vic arguing with his dad. The two certainly have a intriguing relationship given their history, in one telling Wolfman wrote Mr. Stone almost committed suicide over his guilt. That's not present in this tale as we get a nice short recap of this New 52 origin. Mr. Stone is a bit of an ass pointing out that despite being part computer Vic is still off in his calculations. The lab techs talk about the two actually loving each other despite their bickering. Vic thinks how that wasn't always the case.

Mr. Stone wasn't pleased that his son was a great football player and thought Vic should be more. The friction continue since his dad refuses to give his approval to the scholarships being offered. He claimed it's because he knows best and he thinks Vic is wasting his intellect for the sake of mere games. Once Vic turned eighteen his life started to go his way until he decides to finally see his dad. The attack from Darkseids' forces nearly kills him and unwilling to lose his son Mr. Stone uses alien nanites to save his life. Since then he helped Vic recover and make something of his life as Cyborg. Back in the present Mr. Stone admits Vic was right about the calculations.

Overall: Very enjoyable as this seems to focus more on the relationship between father and son than the fact Vic became a superhero. Doing so makes this feel more emotional than the standard paint by numbers throw of retelling. I think it's also the first time I've seen these two get along and Mr. Stone have a interesting personality.

Say What?: Vic' s birthday is in May.

Vic telling his dad that there's a place in hell for him then Mr. Stone saying that's good because Vic will have company. That's suppose to be snark not them fighting but it's odd to close the story on it. Aww?

Red Hood

This is a different take than Red Hood and the Outlaws #0 by having Jason have more fun while evading the police. He shows that he's pretty slick by not only escaping but taking off their steering wheel in advance. Sadly the confrontation with Batman doesn't have the tire theft but rather the same one as RHATO #0. We don't learn why Bruce takes him in just that he learns Jason was homeless. Bruce tells him the truth in the cave while the other version had it happen in the manor before taking him there. He offers Jason the job as Robin saying there's an opening. The training goes well but things take a turn once Jason's anger gets the better of him.

Bruce explains that he wanted to give him a chance not to make another version of himself. Jason calls bull saying it was never about fixing him it was about Bruce trying fix himself. Something Bruce doesn't deny. Joker beats him up after he tracks his mom then he dies. He wakes up in his own grave where Talia is waiting and takes the collapsed boy to the Lazarus Pit. From there she takes him to the All Caste. After that he decides to make a statement by becoming Red Hood.

Overall: I'm not sure how to feel about this quite yet. Lobdell changed certain things as well as adding to the origin he already wrote. Jason is more eager for the role as Robin where he was unsure before. The bond between Bruce and him feels less like family than the other origin partly due to Jason causally talking about leaving like he was a guest. As a result their "talk" that leads to Jason becoming his partner has a vastly different feel than the other more frank discussion in RHATO #0. Where that telling had a vibe of them wanting him to be Robin to better himself and because they trusted him. This feels like their asking to keep him there and they need some kid to fill the spot.

Their argument at the Waynes' grave feels spot on and actually puts some of the blame back on Bruce by alluding to him helping Jason for selfish reasons. Not because he needed to replace Dick but because he saw Jason as a means to fix himself. Jason's anger that Bruce can't even be honest about that and assumption that there will be another Robin are good twists. I wasn't sure if he was quitting by saying the latter but judging by the other origin I'll say he wasn't. But Bruce doesn't deny it or stop Jason from leaving. A huge problem in their relationship has always been communication and Bruce not understanding he has to reach out more. Jason assumes Bruce doesn't care because of this.

I get why Lobdell changed the tire theft bit but replacing it takes away from Jason's character as he was spunky enough to do it on the night no one dared to commit a crime (the anniversary of the Wayne's deaths) and took BATMAN's wheels. Batman was so impressed with his guts he laughed! Then Jason fearlessly fought back and sassed the dark knight. At least we have him outsmart the cops but it's not the same thing.

Talia is a little different than previous shown. Tynion made her obsessed with Jason and randomly decide he'd take over the LOA. Lobdell had her see the goodness in him and want to give him a chance at a better life. This Talia seems to be calculating, which would make sense if we're getting rid of Tynions' arc since she never met him before. There's not enough to suggest if she's Morrison's Talia or she feels bad for Jason. Curiously she's a little afraid of him making a panel that could have lead to us to believe that they were a pairing change it's meaning. Instead Lobdell seems to have a firm no and have us wonder why she's uneasy.

He also does a different introduction to Durca which doesn't come out nearly as well thanks to the dialogue. The take of Jason's relationship with Essence is also a change from what's implied in RHATO #7. There she was his first love that he left the All Caste for and was broken hearted at her apparent betrayal. Here he sees that she's empty inside and thinks he could kill her? Maybe that was his first impression but I don't like the change. Lobdell also has Jason shrug off the Tynion chosen one nonsense in two panels. Jason feeling bad about his behavior when he returned works as does his statement about them being on better terms. He may help Bruce out but he's not Robin. I think RHATO felt more in character under Lobdell than this but it was still enjoyable.

Did You Notice?: For some reason Jason's in blue when he was wearing a red hoodie in the last retelling Lobdell did.

Jason's bedroom is also different than it looks in RHATO #18

His mask came off in front of Joker. Which is weird since DC changed past art to keep the ID hidden.

Willis looks different and Catherine seems to have brown hair. Not sure why she has a shirt with a "C" though. Later on she has blonde hair? The panel with her while Jason is being beaten up has an odd perspective too.

The All Caste test scene was done differently and he doesn't have the paint on his chest.

While the art was mostly good it was hard to tell what was going on with the Batman vs. Red Hood page.

Jason's robe is open so Talia could see everything after he got out of the pit. He was shy about nudity in RHATO #6 so maybe he hasn't noticed yet. Maybe the reason she recoiled wasn't fear but the realization she was about to pat a nude minor.

Say What?: Jason says his dad came home with a bat shaped bruise on his face. It was actually on his arm in RHATO #0

Referring to Alfred as a fossil when Lobdell previous wrote that Jason was fond of him and hung out with him instead of Bruce. Before he knew the Batman secret.

Jason isn't as sure his mom was in Africa in this version and we still don't know how Joker could set him up. Was he a pawn in Jokers' scheme, etc.

Questions Raised?: Why was Talia waiting for him when he came out of is grave?

So Jason was going to leave and they were going to let him? He was a minor in Bruce's care. Was that the reason they told him the truth?

Jason didn't know who Talia was before the pit?


I know little of Meras' story which means there's some surprises like the fact she's actually royalty. Her father has her set up as an assassin but the man he chose to be his daughters' betrothed wants to go in her place. It's more out of tradition and Nereus just seems to want her water powers. Not liking Nereus talking like she's not there Mera tells him to be patient otherwise he'll deal with her. Using his abilities her dad helps her escape the barrier keeping them trapped. Not having any luck finding her target Mera asks for directions learning the king helps surface dwellers.

Meeting the king in person isn't what she expected as he helps people and animals. Their amazed by each other's powers and she likes him better than her betrothed. Listening to her mother's message she discovers the mission was created by her to give Mera a excuse to be free. Her mom tells her to do whatever she wants with her life and not feel she needs to follow their traditions. Mera decides that her mission can wait.

Overall: I thought falling in love would change her mind. While she's fond of the king Mera's real reason for starting a new life was because of her mother's message. To have the permission to be her own person and make choices. In the end she doesn't seem hundred percent sure what she'll do but she's relieved to finally have the option. I like that as that small detail makes a world of a difference.

This was okay, the only fault I could find was the somewhat awkward explanation of the plot through a few pages.

Say What?: I just liked Aquaman stopping someone from making a "there are other fish in the sea" joke looking highly annoyed.

Questions Raised?: Does Mera have a sister in this telling? If so her mother certainly picked a favorite.

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