Ame-Comi II: Batgirl #1 is 99 cents well-spent
I’m not the sort of guy who drops money on the many comic statues, nor do I typically go for Japanification of American pop culture concepts (memories of the Marvel Mangaverse event, doncha know), so DC’s Ame-Comi concept has pretty much passed me by. The digital comics DC has been releasing through Comixology featuring the Ame-Comi line-up intrigued me, though, largely due to the creative teams. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti are writers whose work I often enjoy (and even when I don’t, I at least think it’s still usually pretty interesting, and in the good way, I mean), and that initial Wonder Woman arc had art by Amanda Conner. Tempting as hell, but I didn’t cave. The preview art for Batgirl, though, that grabbed me. Sanford Greene’s take on the designs was fun and flirty without seeming like fan service (impressive, considering how fan servicey those statues sometimes look), and it had an animation-inspired style without actually seeming like he was trying to slavishly copy an anime/manga (which makes sense, seeing as a quick look at his ComicBookDB page shows he has worked on spin-off books for the Justice League Unlimited and Legion of Super-Heroes cartoons, among many others).
The finished artwork by Greene did not disappoint, and he’s definitely someone I’m going to be keeping an eye on from now on. And hey, Palmiotti and Gray’s story got off to a fun start, too. Batgirl was the level-headed, logical Babs we’ve come to know and love, and this Robin (named Carrie!) has a personality as big as all outdoors. She’s going to be fun, I can tell. I don’t know if I’ll be getting the rest of the Ame-Comi digital books, but I’m in for the second and third parts of Batgirl. And considering how few digital books I buy, that’s huge.
So why are they really making the Watchmen prequels?
Dan and Jim want to buy a boat.
What’s in a name? Or, “Hi, I’m Shazam. (BOOOOOM!) Dang it!”
So the word from DC is that Captain Marvel will no longer be called Captain Marvel but, instead, Shazam, because (sayeth Geoff Johns) “everybody thinks he’s Shazam already, outside of comics” (and because they can finally nail down that trademark lock, stock, and barrel without having to constantly answer the question “Why can’t they just call the book Captain Marvel?”).
Do I think it’s lame? Yeah, I do. But given that every single comic book or piece of related merchandise since 1973 has had SHAZAM in large, friendly letters on the cover with only the barest mention of the name Captain Marvel (if at all), I’m actually kind of surprised it took them this long to finally do it.
But, nomenclature aside, this is still my favorite superhero ever we’re talking about here, and so long as the stories are good, I don’t really care what they call him. And I’m legitimately curious to see if Shazam will still be Billy’s magic word (but why wouldn’t it be?), if that means he’ll have a really hard time introducing himself to people, and what this means for the possibilities of seeing Freddy and Mary this go-round (Freddy especially, since not being able to say his own superhero name was always his burden).
Besides, a name change is probably the least damaging thing DC has done to the Big Red Cheese in the last 10 years. We should count our blessings.
(Of course, now I worry people are going to go around asking if Shazam is the superhero with the power to identify any song, but we’ll worry about that when and if that actually happens.)
Cross-posted from my blog, Trusty Plinko Stick, because why not?