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DC Comics: The New 52 Villains Omnibus by…
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DC Comics: The New 52 Villains Omnibus

by Geoff Johns

Other authors: Pascal Alixe (Illustrator), Brian Azzarello (Contributor), Sami Basri (Illustrator), Chris Batista (Illustrator), Tony Bedard (Contributor)114 more, Marguerite Bennett (Contributor), Raymund Bermudez (Illustrator), Carla Berrocal (Illustrator), Bit (Illustrator), Brett Booth (Illustrator), Geraldo Borges (Illustrator), Brian Buccellato (Contributor), Riccardo Burchielli (Illustrator), Cafu (Illustrator), Carmen Carnero (Illustrator), Keith Champagne (Illustrator), ChrisCross (Illustrator), Yildiray Cinar (Illustrator), Andy Clarke (Illustrator), Tom DeFalco (Contributor), Tom Derenick (Illustrator), Netho Diaz (Illustrator), Dan Didio (Contributor), Christian Duce (Illustrator), Dale Eaglesham (Illustrator), Scot Eaton (Illustrator), Michelle Farran (Illustrator), Ray Fawkes (Contributor), Fabrizio Fiorentino (Illustrator), Sholly Fisch (Contributor), Derek Fridolfs (Illustrator), Manuel Garcia (Illustrator), Sterling Gates (Contributor), Neil Googe (Illustrator), Justin Gray (Contributor), Dan Green (Illustrator), Chad Hardin (Illustrator), Jeremy Haun (Illustrator), Mike Hawthorne (Illustrator), Scott Hepburn (Illustrator), Rob Hunter (Illustrator), Victor Ibañez (Illustrator), Frazer Irving (Illustrator), Georges Jeanty (Illustrator), Jock (Illustrator), Jeff Johnson (Illustrator), Ruy José (Illustrator), Dan Jurgens (Contributor), Matt Kindt (Contributor), Andy Kubert (Contributor), Aaron Kuder (Contributor), Szymon Kudranski (Illustrator), Stefano Landini (Illustrator), David Lapham (Illustrator), Ken Lashley (Illustrator), John Layman (Contributor), Jeff Lemire (Contributor), Emi Lenox (Illustrator), Sloane Leong (Illustrator), Paul Levitz (Contributor), Scott Lobdell (Contributor), Aaron Lopresti (Illustrator), Tula Lotay (Illustrator), Jorge Lucas (Illustrator), Francis Manapul (Contributor), Guillem March (Illustrator), Jason Masters (Illustrator), Corey May (Illustrator), Brendan McCarthy (Illustrator), Ray McCarthy (Illustrator), Jaime Mendoza (Illustrator), China Miéville (Contributor), Rags Morales (Illustrator), Moritat (Illustrator), Michael Alan Nelson (Contributor), Tom Nguyen (Illustrator), Ann Nocenti (Contributor), Graham Nolan (Illustrator), Ben Oliver (Illustrator), John Ostrander (Contributor), Greg Pak (Contributor), Jimmy Palmiotti (Contributor), Jason Paz (Illustrator), Javier Pina (Illustrator), Alberto Ponticelli (Illustrator), Francis Portela (Illustrator), Howard Porter (Illustrator), Steve Pugh (Illustrator), Norm Rapmund (Illustrator), Cliff Richards (Illustrator), Emma Rids (Illustrator), Robson Rocha (Illustrator), Jesus Saiz (Illustrator), Edgar Salazar (Illustrator), Derlis Santacruz (Illustrator), Mateus Santolauco (Illustrator), Tim Seeley (Contributor), Liam Sharp (Illustrator), Gail Simone (Contributor), Paulo Siqueira (Illustrator), Andy Smith (Illustrator), Cam Smith (Illustrator), Zak Smith (Illustrator), Scott Snyder (Contributor), Andrea Sorrentino (Illustrator), Charles Soule (Contributor), Jim Starlin (Contributor), Philip Tan (Illustrator), Art Thibert (Illustrator), Frank Tieri (Contributor), Peter J. Tomasi (Contributor), James Tynion IV (Contributor), Angel Unzueta (Illustrator), Robert Venditti (Contributor), Dooma Wendschuh (Illustrator), Marv Wolfman (Contributor), Kelsey Wroten (Illustrator), Annie Wu (Illustrator), Marley Zarcone (Illustrator)

Series: The New 52 Omnibus (3)

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Recently added byStevil2001, O_Hozomeen, sinned2007

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The Book as a Whole
This book ties into Forever Evil, an event where the Crime Syndicate (i.e., the Evil Justice League) temporarily took over the Earth. As a result, most of DC's monthly titles were "taken over" by supervillains-- like, Action Comics #23.2 featured General Zod. Yes, there were decimals in the numbering. Some series were taken over four times, some just once. One presumes this was in proportion to popularity; it's easier to get someone to buy four extra issues of Action Comics than of Swamp Thing. These vary in type: some show what the villain in question was doing during Forever Evil, some show random other adventures of the villain, some show the origin story of the villain, some do more than one. I'd guess that more than half aren't even stories, but just set-up: leading into Forever Evil itself, or a Forever Evil spin-off, or just leading into a forthcoming issue of an ongoing where said villain is going to turn up. Like when I reviewed The New 52 omnibus, I'm going to tackle each individual grouping of issues, since there are too many to look at each on its own.

Justice League (Darkseid, Lobo, Dial E, Secret Society, Deadshot, Killer Frost, Shadow Thief, Black Adam, the Creeper, Eclipso, Black Manta, Ocean Master, Desaad, Solomon Grundy, Grodd, Reverse-Flash, the Rogues, Count Vertigo, Arcane, Trigon, Deathstroke, the Cheetah, First Born)
If I learned anything from this section, it's how few people should be allowed to touch the New Gods: to stories featuring Darkseid and Desaad are so mundane as to completely miss the point of the characters. Darkseid doesn't need an origin story, he's "the Tiger-Force at the core of all things! When you cry out in your dreams-- it is Darkseid that you see!" How can such a character have a youth and a backstory? It makes him mundane to give him a motivation, and Darkseid should never be mundane.

The stories that stuck out to me positively in this section were the Dial E one-- I didn't get it, but it sure was imaginative, with a battle of constantly transforming hero and villain, accompanied by constantly changing art style-- and the Shadow Thief one. I'd never even heard of this character, but this was surprisingly interesting and nuanced origin for her, accompanied by some great art. On the other hand, I wish Geoff Johns would leave Black Adam well alone and give someone else a chance with him; surely, ten years of dominating the character's depiction is enough.

Superman (Cyborg Superman, Zod, Lex Luthor, Metallo, Bizarro, Brainiac, H'el, Parasite, Doomsday)
Superman villains with links to Krypton get old fast, because Krypton gets old fast. I want to see Superman blazing a light for the future, not fighting the ghosts of his past. So Cyborg Superman or Zod or H'el or Doomsday alone might have been fine, but reading all four in quick succession was dull-- I was dead tired of seeing Jor-El pontificate shit. Most everything here ranged from boring to incomprehensible, but I was surprised to enjoy the Parasite story, I guess because of Aaron Kuder's unification of art and story, and the Lex Luthor tale was a decent example of its genre, even if dealing with old ground (some beats were straight out of Brian Azzarello's old Lex Luthor mini).

Green Lantern (Relic, Mongul, Black Hand, Sinestro)
Evidence continues to mount for my thesis that the more Geoff Johns Green Lantern comics I read, the less I want to read them all. Mongul is still dumb, the Sinestro comic was dull, and the two new-to-me villains were completely uninteresting.

Batman (the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin, Bane, Two-Face, the Court of Owls, Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins, Killer Croc, the Ventriloquist, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, the Joker's Daughter, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, the Scarecrow, Man-Bat)
These stories are more dependent on the Forever Evil set-up than most in this book, making them less interesting than most. Many of them have Batman's villains being given chunks of Gotham city to control, but none really do anything interesting with it. I did like the Riddler story, which captured the genuine inquisitiveness I like about the character, and the cameo of the Riddler in the largely incomprehensible Scarecrow tale was another high point. But so many of these were warmed-over origin stories or pointless brutality or both-- the Ventriloquist and Harley Quinn and Joker's Daughter stories were particularly bad on this point. (Especially the Joker's Daughter... ugh.) I also enjoyed the Killer Croc story for him making his own subterranean community he genuinely seemed to care about.

The State of Villainy
Speaking of "pointless brutality," I get that these are all villains... but do they have to be so dark? So many of them are ridiculous murder machines, killing hundreds at a stroke, which makes DC's heroes look awful for not being able to catch them. So many have deep traumas in their childhoods, especially abuse, in a way that stops being explanatory and starts just becoming lazy. Obviously villains are going to do bad things, but so many DC villains are just sadists who are excessively violent, and the sameness begins to get dull after a while. Trying to make me take all of your villains seriously eventually makes me take none of them seriously. What I wouldn't give for a Condiment King or a Wurstwaffe among this bunch. Or even many of these same characters as they existed in the 1980s, before they became murder machines.

DC Comics Crises: « Previous in sequence | Next in sequence »
  Stevil2001 | Feb 18, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Johns, Geoffprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alixe, PascalIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Azzarello, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Basri, SamiIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Batista, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bedard, TonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bennett, MargueriteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bermudez, RaymundIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berrocal, CarlaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
BitIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Booth, BrettIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borges, GeraldoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buccellato, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burchielli, RiccardoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
CafuIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carnero, CarmenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Champagne, KeithIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
ChrisCrossIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cinar, YildirayIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke, AndyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
DeFalco, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Derenick, TomIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Diaz, NethoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Didio, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duce, ChristianIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eaglesham, DaleIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eaton, ScotIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farran, MichelleIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fawkes, RayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fiorentino, FabrizioIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fisch, ShollyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fridolfs, DerekIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garcia, ManuelIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gates, SterlingContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Googe, NeilIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gray, JustinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Green, DanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hardin, ChadIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haun, JeremyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawthorne, MikeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hepburn, ScottIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunter, RobIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ibañez, VictorIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Irving, FrazerIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jeanty, GeorgesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
JockIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, JeffIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
José, RuyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jurgens, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kindt, MattContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kubert, AndyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kuder, AaronContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kudranski, SzymonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Landini, StefanoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lapham, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lashley, KenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Layman, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lemire, JeffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lenox, EmiIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leong, SloaneIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levitz, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lobdell, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lopresti, AaronIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lotay, TulaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lucas, JorgeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Manapul, FrancisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
March, GuillemIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Masters, JasonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
May, CoreyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, BrendanIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, RayIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mendoza, JaimeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miéville, ChinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morales, RagsIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MoritatIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nelson, Michael AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nguyen, TomIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nocenti, AnnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nolan, GrahamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oliver, BenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ostrander, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pak, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Palmiotti, JimmyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Paz, JasonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pina, JavierIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ponticelli, AlbertoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Portela, FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, HowardIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pugh, SteveIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rapmund, NormIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Richards, CliffIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rids, EmmaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rocha, RobsonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saiz, JesusIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salazar, EdgarIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Santacruz, DerlisIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Santolauco, MateusIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Seeley, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sharp, LiamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Simone, GailContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Siqueira, PauloIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, AndyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, CamIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, ZakIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Snyder, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sorrentino, AndreaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Soule, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Starlin, JimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tan, PhilipIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thibert, ArtIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tieri, FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tomasi, Peter J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tynion IV, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Unzueta, AngelIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Venditti, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wendschuh, DoomaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wolfman, MarvContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wroten, KelseyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wu, AnnieIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zarcone, MarleyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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