Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cohesion was the keyword for DC's 2008 line-up as the entire Universe moved around an editorial structure led by some of the finest minds in comics -- not that it wasn't without it's hiccups!

Leaving many scratching their heads is Final Crisis; the core-series telling the spine of DC's most harrowing event yet!
The disorientation of readers hasn't been entirely inappropriate, however. The story spirals around the disorienting shifts in time that have led to the final days of free humanity, and the triumph of evil, ushered in by the hand of Darkseid's fallen New Gods and the unleashed Anti-Life Equation.

While Final Crisis provided a strong conceptual spine for the DCU this year, it has by no means overwhelmed the entirety of proceedings. Prominent headline grabbers - like Batman RIP - connected readers to the event in a tangential manner. Likewise, other major events unfolded with varying connection, such as the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps War, the rise of the Red Lanterns, the Death of the New Gods, and much more!

With skilled architects maintaining their brands, DC continues to show an expert maturity in handling it's many properties. The likes of Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns have sustained a balance that's come to typify DC at it's best, bridging the golden age to the new school with respect and logic. Characters like Darkseid, Mr. Terrific, Powergirl, Green Lantern, Nightwing, Flash, Libra, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Legion of Superheroes, and a host of others, have all benefitted in some way from recent developments.

As we exit this bold exchange of 2008, we look forward to seeing what comes of 2009!
First, let us look back through just a few of the hits of 2008!

Superman/Batman #42 (January 2008)
"Release" Burnett/Nguyen

After negotiating his way out of his imprisonment within the mythic Source Wall, the New God, Darkseid, finds himself with only a fraction of his titanic power.

In an effort to reclaim the Omega Power, Darkseid has his loyal minion, Desaad, recruit the fear obssessed villain, Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka; Scarecrow. The Gotham madman aids in the manipulation of Superman - the man originally responsible for trapping Darkseid in the Source Wall.
With Superman under his control; Darkseid damns him to an act of irony, sending the Man of Steel to recruit the staff of the Highfather - a conduit for the power Darkseid seeks, housed at the Source Wall.

In an effort to find his ally, Batman travels into space to face the overwhelming odds of a New God on the planet Tartaros. There he finds a valued ally in Bekka, the fighting wife of the New God, Orion. Together they track Darkseid to the threshold of the Omega Force where they share one final passionate exchange, before an act of treachery by Desaad affords them the ultimate time to strike...

Green Lantern #25 (January 2008)
"Birth of the Black Lantern" Johns/Reis

In the wake of the crisis that saw Alexander Luthor Jr and his Society of supervillains rock the very fabric of reality; Sinestro's involvement becomes redefined. Having served as a super powered lackey under Luthor, Sinestro escapes from battle to the anti-matter universe, where he encounters a restored Anti-Monitor, who had reborn along with a new Multi-Verse.

The Anti-Monitor joins Sinestro in creating a new Corps of agents with the intent to use them as heralds of his conquest over the positive realm. Harnessing the yellow power rings of Qward; the antithesis to the Green Lantern's Oa; the Sinestro Corps operate on a design of fear, using it to control their yellow energy the same way the Lanterns us willpower.

Tricked into believing the Sinestro Corps were to attack Oa, the designates of Sector 2814 soon find themselves four against an army as the Anti-Monitor and his heralds emerge in the Milky Way. They launch their attack on Earth, central to the new multi-verse, but the rest of the Green Lanterns, along with the heroes of Earth, soon join the war. Amidst the chaos, more personal skirmishes break out, and in an intimate exchange, Sinestro finds himself facing off with his two greatest Earth-born rivals...

Catwoman #78 (June 2008)
"The Long Road Home" Pfeifer/López

After a spate of especially violent superhuman crimes, the secreted United Nations agency called Checkmate set about plans to 'relocate' the world's super powered criminals on a distant planet called, Salvation.

Amanda Waller leads the initiative with her group of reformed and controlled criminals, the Suicide Squad, in an effort to round-up the powers, and redistribute them with the use of Apokoliptian Boom Tube technology.

Catwoman finds herself among those trapped on the hell planet, which is actually a training ground for the New Gods. Populated by deadly and malicious creatures designed to harden those trained there, Catwoman has much to contend with, not only the wildlife, but also arch enemies like Hammer and Sickle...

Countdown #2 (June 2008)
"Darkseid Equals Death" Dini/McKeever/Giffen/Kolins

When the prophecized death of the New Gods begins; Darkseid begins siphoning the powers of each of the deceased for future use in his attempts to create the Fifth World on Earth. In need of a storage vessel, Darkseid recognises Superman's best pal, Jimmy Olsen, as one of the most protected individuals in the cosmos.

Though the mysterious development of these strange powers gives Jimmy hope of becoming his own type of superhero; the intrepid photo journalist soon discovers the truth about his many fantastic transformations! After being reunited with Superman, Darkseid is able to take control of Olsen's new abilities, forcing him to emit Kryptonite!

The intervention of the Atom gives Jimmy a chance to take control of his powers, but even with the giant-size energy of a New God, he's unable to overcome the dark lord. Just as all hope seems lost for Superman's pal a boom tube ushers the arrival of a New God thought dead - Darkseid's son, Orion! Intent on putting an end to his father's darkness once and for all, can Orion fullfil the prophecy?

Final Crisis #1 (July 2008)
"D.O.A.: The GOD of WAR!" Morrison/Jones

When the last of the New Gods clashed, the very Earth shook, but in the end it was the fist of Orion that plunged into his father's dark heart and left a gaping wound of defeat. On that day, Darkseid died, but triumph was far from the domain of good.

The seemingly victorious last of the New Gods was stumbling toward his own special death - by a bullet - while forces behind the scenes orchestrate a grand plan destined to bring about the return of Darkseid and the end of all!

Libra emerges to request control of The Society of Super Villains, promising their wildest desires in a world where the villains will be sponsored by gods! While the ego of Lex Luthor and the like is not so easily persuaded by the mysterious villain's claims, others prove all too willing to throw in with the latest mastermind of crime. Dr. Light and Mirror Master prove exactly that as they hunt the junior heroes of the League of Titans in a race to claim a cosmic artifact!

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