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Author Topic: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)  (Read 1285 times)

Offline Tomato

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Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« on: March 21, 2012, 02:34:41 PM »
After spending more time than I really needed to beefing up on my Crime Syndicate lore (I eat up evil universe stuff like it's Tomato crack.) I decided to start writing down a few reviews chronicling my decent into the best and worst aspects of DC's evil universe/s. In part, this is to serve in helping anyone interested in finding out about the Crime Syndicate, but it's also so I can rant about some of the stories I rather dislike.

I'll start with the very first Crime Syndicate story, “Crisis on Earth 3” from JLA vol 1 #29-30. Before I get going with this review, please understand that this is a book from the early Silver Age of DC comics. I bring this up because I typically can't even read typical silver age DC comics... the writing is childish, the art is blah, and in general most remind me negatively of the Super Friends cartoon or Adam West show (though at least with the latter it was SUPPOSED to be corny and badly written). I grew up in the 90s with BTAS and X-men, so I don't even have the luxury of nostalgia when I read this stuff.

Still, as far as it goes, “Crisis on Earth 3” isn't as bad as some books I've tried to read. Sure, it lacks the nuances and tone you'd have in a story written a decade or more later, but overall it tells a decent story.

The book opens with a splash page introducing the characters in the story: The Justice League from Earth 1, the Justice Society of Earth 2, and “the super powered beings of Earth-Three – Triumphant in every one of their missions”

I actually like that little bit. Sure it's given away on the first actual page, but neither the cover or initial introduction tells us these guys are mirrored versions of the good guys. In fact, in a previous issue (the reprint I have includes many of the early multiverse stories) passing reference is made to the JLA/JSA's heroics probably saving not only Earth 1 and Earth 2, but probably Earth 3 as well. It's a cool little fake out, even if it doesn't go anywhere.

Anyway, the first few pages introduce the world of the Crime Syndicate (including some of the historical tidbits like Lincoln shooting Booth and the like) as well as the basic premise: There's nobody around to really challenge these guys, so they've gotten complacent and bored. However, Ultraman finds this huge piece of kryptonite, which gives him the power to see into other realities (Silver Age  comic logic people). He's shocked by the idea that people would want to use their abilities in ways OTHER than robbing banks, but instead of realizing that he can do more with his powers, he just decides to go meet up with his cohorts to go beat the JLA up.

What follows is actually some interesting little fights. The JLA learn that criminals who each seem an awful lot like them have been running around robbing banks, so each member decides to go after his counterpart. However, the CSA apparently decided that because fighting your counterpart is a relatively pointless endeavor, they'll switch things around in their favor... Except for Superwoman, because apparently even for villains, a guy fighting a girl just isn't fair play.

Wacky hijinx ensue when the CSA ends up getting their butts kicked on Earth 1... but hey, Owlman thought ahead and set things up to bring them all to Earth 3, where the JLA promptly loses. However, instead of taking the victory like the evil villains they are, they decide that it's only fair that they should fight each other on neutral ground: Earth 2, home of the JSA.

Umm... Crime Syndicate? Not to tell you guys your business or anything, but good triumphs over evil on Earth 2 as well. Heck, in pre-nuDC Earth 2, good probably triumphs more often on that world then on Earth 1. Even assuming that you even need neutral ground for a fair fight (which, since you're the villains, seems against your nature to begin with) wouldn't something like Earth Prime, a world without heroes, serve you better? It just seems silly to me that these guys would suddenly think “hey, we need neutral ground? Let's go to a world with even more heroes that could potentially beat us!”

Anyway, the Society notices that Ultraman has been staring creepily at their universe, so they contact the JLA because... reasons? Yeah, I get that they've teamed up with the JLA before, but it does seem a bit contrived that they would track the JLA to a universe they'd never encountered before now just so the JLA can tell them that they're in danger. Well thanks, the creepy stalker eyes weren't enough of an indication, we needed to break the laws of physics for you to tell us that.

The next chapter opens with the Crime Syndicate jumping out of random objects in the Society's headquarters like they were magical garden gnomes. Now, I'm going to give props here... the fight between the CSA and the Society is a pretty cool set of segments that I wouldn't mind seeing in animation somewhere down the line. The fight between Johnny and Hawkman stands out in particular because the two fighters are using their powers in very creative ways. Power Ring fights Doctor Fate in a magic duel, Owlman takes on Dr Midnite in the dark, and once again the two female characters (Superwoman and Black Canary) have to fight each other because women cannot possibly hold their own against male characters.

The last fight is between Ultraman and Starman. Like the other fights, the two characters display some inventive use of superpowers (seriously, where is half of this creativity today?) but the end of the fight is the most interesting in hindsight. Starman tricks Ultraman into stealing his cosmic rod, only to reveal that it's a fake rod made of antimatter, which will blow up now that it's come into contact with Ultraman. This is an interesting tidbit because, as anyone who has read Morrison's Earth 2 book knows, the current CSA is from the antimatter universe, similar to the qward. Could it be that this explosion of antimatter so close to the primary villain of Earth-Three resulted in the creation of the current Syndicate? Could it also mean that Morrison purposely built off of the original CSA story for his revamp?

Yeah, I know, I'm giving modern writers waaaaay too much credit. Moving on.

The JSA wins their respective fights same as the JLA did, but apparently the CSA planted some stupid suggestion that would drag the JSA to their world if they shouted “I win!” I'm sorry, but after the inventive use of panels not two pages before, this idea is laughable. It is much more plausible that the ring would drag them back to Earth 3 if they fell unconscious. What if one or more of the JSA members    pulled a Batman and never said anything? UGH!

We finish with the climatic battle between the JLA and their counterparts. This fight is just sad compared to the CSA/JSA fights, with most of the strategies being the same (I'll feed the CSA more power to throw them off balance!). The worst though, is Batman's strategy. His counterpart, Owlman, has low level mind control abilities, allowing him to make Batman attack in a way he can anticipate. So how does Batman, the world's greatest detective, beat Owlman? He turns his back on him. No, seriously, he turns around and stares away from Owlman, because:

“The left side of my brain at which Owlman was beaming his thought controls—governs my right side movements! But by turning my back on him, I'll receive his orders with the right side of my brain, which controls my left side!”

WHAT!?! I don't... how... UGH! I can't even BEGIN to express what's wrong with all that, so I'll move on for the sake of my sanity... Except that what happens next is perhaps even dumber. The JLA discusses imprisoning the CSA on either Earth 1 or 2 while the CSA Stares at them in ABSOLUTE TERROR... or just mild bafflement, judging by the expressions in the artwork. It's just a weird scene, because the JLA sits there discussing the fact that the CSA looks afraid of going to jail. ZOMG, VILLAINS DON'T WANT TO GO TO PRISON!?! WHAT MADNESS BE THIS!

Anyway, all this leads up to this notion that the CSA actually planted a bomb on Earth 3 that would blow up Earths one and two if the JLA beat them and went to rescue the JSA. You know, I don't think I've ever seen a team so prepared for getting their butts kicked. I'm half surprised they didn't set up the bombs so that even if the JLA managed to disarm them, 5 billion dollars would be stolen from earths 1 and 2 or something.

And so the JLA leaves the Crime Syndicate trapped in the dimensional wall, to slowly starve to death without and means of procuring food, water, or even the ability to go to the bathroom. And just to add insult to injury, Superman leaves signs posted around the thing that tell anyone who finds them that if they attempt to free the Syndicate the prison will blow up and kill both the Syndicate and their liberators. Classy.

This comic dumbfounds me. At times, the writing is cleaver, what with the build up to the CSA being evil, the cool use of superpowers in some of the fight scenes, and the use of some characters we don't see that often on the JSA. But the designs of the Crime Syndicate (silly even by the standards of the time) the bizarre plot points, and the ludicrous ending all turn this comic from a great old book to an ok introduction. I'll admit, it's no more than I expected going in, but even so, I'm slightly disappointed.

I don't know how long it's going to be before I'll write another of these, what book I'll likely review, or even if I plan on doing another one. As is, this two issue story took me several days to pick apart, so I don't know how I'm even going to handle a much longer arc like those in Countdown(UGH!) or Trinity. But we'll see.

Offline murs47

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 06:42:03 PM »
Holy walls of text, Batman!

Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 07:02:41 PM »
No kidding, but still a fun read, thanks 'Mato.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 02:47:21 PM »
I'm still undecided on whether to continue doing these, but more then that I'm torn on which story to go into next. Logic would dictate the next chronological appearance of the CSA, but truth be told I have little interest in the Pre-Crisis Crime Syndicate. There's only one more review I actually want to do on them before moving on to Morrison and the stories that followed him.

What do you guys think though? Is it worth continuing this, and if so, are there any pre-crisis CSA stories you feel I should review?

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 01:02:52 AM »
I debated a long while how I wanted to continue these reviews, mostly because my knowledge of the Pre-Crisis CSA is severely limited. The Pre-Crisis Syndicate never really caught on in the comics, and didn't appear again for over a decade following their initial appearance. From what I can tell, only one character of significance was added from their debut in the 1960s to their demise: The only hero of Earth 3, Alexander Luthor.

Now, I love Mirror Mirror type stories, the Crime Syndicate in particular, but this fact has always annoyed me. In the same way that killing characters quashes any potential stories they could have, setting up dumb rules like “there are only 5 super-powered villains” and “Lex Luthor is the only hero” is a giant drain on future stories. Now, even if a writer wants to have say, a story with Aqua-man meeting his anti-verse self, he can't: your primary “Mirror” world doesn't allow for one to exist, and you can't create another one without confusing readers. The entire point of creating an entirely new universe is to add potential new stories, not restrict them.

Anyway, as I was saying, the Crime Syndicate didn't really get too much play in the intervening years. Sure they popped up once in awhile as villains for some random story, but they never really took hold with either the fans or the writers at DC. Ironically, it wasn't until a fan of the old “Crisis on Earth___,” Marv Wolfman (of New Teen Titans lore) killed them off as part of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” that they became as popular as they are.

If you've never read it (shame on you if you haven't) “Crisis on Infinite Earths” was DC's attempt to streamline a lot of the continuity that they'd built up over the years into a single, unified whole. Whether the stories that followed Crisis actually made things easier for new comic fans (who now had to contend with the often outright bizarre “reboots” writers were making on top of trying to figure out which Pre-Crisis stories were canon) is a subject for a host of reviews on its own. The point is that this gigantic, reality warping event was kicked off with the destruction of one world: Earth 3.

Crisis opens with the antimatter wave rippling across the universe of Earth-Three, Earth itself begins to break apart. The CSA does its best to halt the ensuing chaos, but their attempts to halt the destruction do very little. As Alexander saves his son using a prototype dimensional shift (in a scene pretty much directly duplicating Superman's origin),  Superwoman, Owlman, and Johnny Quick are swallowed by the wave of antimatter. As the Antimatter wave bears down on them, their deaths apparently inevitable, Ultraman chooses to go down fighting, flying directly into the wave of antimatter.

Despite being only five pages long, the death of the Crime Syndicate is a genuinely touching story. The Crime Syndicate had dedicated themselves to conquering any challenge, spending a lifetime terrorizing their world and taking whatever they pleased. But in the end, with their world threatened, they died as heroes.

To me, that's what makes the Crime Syndicate stand out among all the hundreds of “evil universe” characters and universes out there. They're unquestionably evil, constantly committing unspeakable acts on their home world and grinding every sliver of hope out of the population. But in the end, when the chips are down, they will do everything in their power to protect their world.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2012, 03:23:58 PM »
With the Pre-crisis Syndicate more or less out of the way (aside from a few random clones popping up... comics everybody!), let's jump forward into the modern Crime Syndicate of AmeriKa with 2000's JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel.

Before I even get started with this review, I think it's only fair that I give a little bit of personal context here. JLA: Earth 2 was developed by the creative team of writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely. The two have worked on a lot of projects together over the years, and I've never made a secret of the fact that I hate them together ALMOST as much as I hate them solo.

That isn't to say that they aren't talented or that I feel like I'm looking at a playboy mag *cough*Liefield&Land*cough* but pretty much all the work they've done together has either fallen flat or ticked me off. I hate their run on New X-men with a passion, and Batman and Robin was only interesting because of Damian (Professor Pyg? Really?!). About the only thing I maybe would have liked was All Star Superman, but having only seen the animated version I'm not even sure on that. IMHO Quitely's art style is flat-out fugly, and Morrison's writing style just rubs me the wrong way... even when he's writing a book I enjoy (such as Action Comics), I'm always left with a bad taste in my brain.

That said... JLA: Earth 2 is pretty much the sacred text of CSA stories. Quitely's artwork, which I normally hate to even look at, works extremely well in this story, as Quitely is capable of capturing the flawed nature of Anti-Earth in a way that I doubt many other artists could. Morrison is also in rare form here, having written a story I've come to enjoy more and more every time I read it.

As such, I'm going to spare you all the in depth review for this one... There are a few flaws here and there, and some aspects are outdated, but it's generally a great CSA story and I have nothing but love for it. The reflections are intriguing and well conceptualized (Superman is a noble character, but Ultraman is a brute; Batman fights crime in memory of his parents, Owlman commits crime to spite his father; etc.) and even Anti-Luthor is treated with much more dignity here then his counterpart's son would be in the following years.

So yeah, if you're interested in reading a great CSA story, look no further than JLA: Earth 2.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 07:46:39 AM »
So I've set up an actual sub-blog for my CSA/Mirror Mirror type reviews (I'm adapting my reviews from this thread for use on the blog right now, except now I've got actual scans from the comics to break up the GINORMOUS WALLS OF TEXT) over on tumblr. Once I get the first couple reviews adapted, I'm gonna start posting new ones.

http://antimato.tumblr.com/

Edit: Added my review of the Crisis on Infinite Earths
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 05:59:42 PM by Tomato »

Offline daglob

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 04:48:22 PM »
Ya hadda BE there.

And it woudn't have hurt to be like 10 years old.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 07:36:56 AM »
So umm, lots of updates since I last posted in this thread... redid my JLA: Earth 2 review, did a two part review of "Syndicate Rules," summarized the relevant information from the horrific series Countdown, and even made a list of Crime Syndicate stories and whether I'd recommend them that I'll be updating as I go along.

Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 04:34:27 PM »
I was really bummed when I had first seen the "Syndicate Rules" trade way back when, because I didn't have the money for it. Still don't really have the money for it, but I've been looking for it, and haven't been able to find it (I don't do online shopping). Seeing how highly you recommend it, I am really kicking myself in the tail for not just getting it when I had seen it.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 07:04:07 PM »
I need to go pack and pick up several of the actual trades myself (I do own both E3 stories I've reviewed as well as JLA:E2, but I believe my original reading of Syndicate Rules was from my Dad's comic collection, and the copy I reviewed from was scanned) but I'll be looking through my finances after Christmas to see how much I can afford to spend, because I do legitimately want a physical copy of it.

I also really need to pick up a copy of JLA: Omega... not because I want to read it mind you, but because I feel a primal need to destroy it and everything it stands for. I can't really do that with just a scan.

Edit: After posting I looked into this a bit... Syndicate rules was only about $6 used (including shipping) on amazon, so I went ahead and picked it up, as well as JLA:Omega... which wasn't as cheap, for some stinky reason.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 07:20:33 PM by Tomato »

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2013, 03:51:16 AM »
So, the first part of my JLA: Omega review is finally up. I've only reviewed the first issue of the story, and the review is over 2,100 words.

Offline vorelliwiseau

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 03:47:36 AM »
Hey, 'Mato, you up for a quick question? What'd you think about some of the CSA origins in this month's Justice League?

I've been reading your reviews, and from what you've written about the world-building in Syndicate Rules - and your percieved lack thereof in JLA: Omega - expanding the character's backgrounds and the world they live in seems to be right up your alley, for better or worse.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 04:11:14 AM »
I actually really like Forever Evil and its interpretation of the Crime Syndicate... I'm just waiting for the arc to finish before I give my full thoughts on it. I've mainly been following the main arc and Justice League right now, but I want to go back after the dust settles and read any of the other relevant arcs.

Really, the only hesitation I've had towards it is just my own exasperation with the new 52 in general, this series having come right on the heels of my decision to boycott DC over the Aquaman thing. It's actually been a much better romp than most of the other CSA books, I just worry about what you do after this story is over: their world is supposedly gone, meaning there's not even the possibility of there being counterparts of characters like Green Arrow and the like.

Offline vorelliwiseau

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 03:20:59 PM »
I just worry about what you do after this story is over: their world is supposedly gone, meaning there's not even the possibility of there being counterparts of characters like Green Arrow and the like.

D'you mean the Blue Bowman, and all those other guys? Yeah, I like how there's an urgency reason for the CSA to escape their Earth, but it seems the entire reason for building their world - and also maybe Earth 2, given its current direction - is to tear it all down. It's like dominos made of sandcastles, or something.

Still, it's been a very entertaining ride, for the most part! I might do some New 52/Forever Evil versions of CSA!GA, Plastic Man and Blue Beetle one of these days.

Also, what's up with Aquaman?

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2014, 07:25:25 AM »
In terms of my quitting DC? It has to do with the whole marriage thing... I have a hard time supporting a company that's so boneheaded they think marriage somehow ages their characters.

Omega Part 2 is up. Less ranting in this one, but it's only the calm before the storm...

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 08:37:01 AM »
Part 3 is up now also. I'm up to 4,000 words between these already, and I haven't even done more than touch on the worst aspect of this mess yet.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2014, 07:18:18 PM »
http://antimato.tumblr.com/post/84444140252/jla-omega-part-4

Part 4 is available for reading. Over 1,500 words in this part alone.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2017, 04:24:22 AM »
So I'm just blowing the dust off this thread because earlier this week I read through all my CSA reviews and skins again, and that motivated me to start working on text reviews for a few of the CSA's animated romps, starting with the Brave and the Bold two parter. I've started part 1, "Deep Cover for Batman" and hope to get it done sometime tomorrow, with "Game Over for Owlman" hopefully coming sometime next week.

For anyone who wants to read the previous reviews, http://antimato.tumblr.com/tagged/CSA_Reviews/chrono is a good way to go through them all in order.

Offline Silver Shocker

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 03:27:10 PM »
Holy cow, wasn't expecting to see this updated.

I actually recently read Earth Two for the first time. I've been on a big DC backlog kick since reading the Ostrander Suicide Squad trades and am now in the process of reading the Waid/Hitch stuff that I never got to read back when I read the rest of that era. I quite enjoyed Earth Two. I also find Quitely's art ugly but didn't mind it here. I'll admit I like Luthor's gold armor from Crisis on Two Earths and JL Action more that what he has in this book but I also realise this book's over a decade old and your review gave proper context to the green and purple armor's reapperance. I admit I do have more of a fondness for Morrison than I do (loves me some Damien) but he's sure an aquired taste. Bizarre Barry-Allen-fast pacing, plot points only breifly mentioned that later become important, weird, high concept gobblydegook plots that make it no surprise he was doing so good drugs, and stories you can kinda follow if you squint and not think about it too much. His three-issue JLA Classified arc is pretty much a microcosm of this, perhaps best summed up by Batman's so-stupid-it's-awesome line "Alfred, I"m breaking out the sci-fi closet. Don't tell my friends at the GCPD".

It being a graphic novel and not a long run, I found it refreshing how straightforward and non-bizarre it was....until Brainiac made his play and some of that Grant Morrison goofiness surfaced.

Still I'm glad I read it. It was neat to see where the Post-Crisis CSA came from.

Ah, Syndicate Rules. I was on board for this book because I was a big Busiek fan and JLA/Avengers was amazing, but this arc was dissapointing for having some dull spots and not living up to the epic fanservice of the aforementioned title, though admittedly I did like it and the whole world building with the CSA was actually pretty fasinating and well set up. I can totally see how Dwayne McDuffie took them from this to "They're mobsters dividing up territory, complete with Ultraman having a Brooklyn accent" in the animated film.

And then there's the Qwardians. I found the stuff with them so boring and found it dragged on so much that from then on "Weaponeers of Qward" was synonymous with "gobbledgook".

Given the focus on both the Qwardians and the Syndicate themselves, it's easy to believe that this book was originally going to be a CSA miniseries. 

I did read Robinson's JLA run but fell out of it. I think I got issue into Omega. I'm got the remaining issues of his run so when maybe when I'm done the other JLA stuff I'm reading now I'll finish that off.

Gotta say, I like seeing you review this stuff. I'd enjoy seeing your thoughts on other books, Marvel or DC. Could a Forever Evil and Darkseid War review be in your future?
-"Wherever kindness is MOCKED--and CRUELTY is worn as a badge of honor--THERE you will find them. So WEAK inside,

that they cannot imagine that TRUE strength of SPIRIT--can even exist."
~Peregrine, describing Hydra, U.S. Avengers #8

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2017, 04:22:46 PM »
Forever Evil is one I do want to touch on eventually, but how soon that one will be depends mostly on how burned out I am after the BnB and Co2E reviews. There's a LOT of material in the Forever Evil series to cover, though thankfully only a few series cover the CSA themselves. Ironically, Justice League will likely be the most interesting, since that's the book that focused on the CSA backstories.

As for Darkseid war... I'll be completely honest, I've been so completely detached from DC since the n52 and Aquaman's marriage debacle that I wasn't even aware the CSA was a thing in that story. I actually lucked into finding out about Forever Evil because of the CSA figures that came out from DCC. It's a shame, because from what I hear DC's made a lot of changes in Rebirth that might have kept me reading (such as the Titans being a thing again), but between all the garbage in the n52, the fact that DC's knowingly got a sexual harasser in charge of the Wonder Woman books, and the utter garbage that is DC's uber-dark cinematic universe... I just cannot support them.

That's not to say I won't look at it, however. I endured countdown to read the CSA bits, so I'll probably be fine with Darkseid War... mostly. I did a bit of research into it after reading your post, and I can already see several things annoying me about it, but I've been similarly annoyed by other CSA stories. If anyone has any recommendations as to any secondary books to read, I'd appreciate it.

I'm currently about halfway through writing the "Deep Cover for Batman" review, taking a bit of a break... I'm already up past 1,400 words and 20 paragraphs.

Edit: Touching on previous stories, I will say that Syndicate Rules is one of my favorite CSA stories not because of the story itself (which is just ok) but for what it did to break the E1 Syndicate out of the stupid "only 5 CSA and 1 hero" mold DC had crammed them into over the years. I hated that stupid limit, it never made any sense, and seeing it shattered in a single page was GLORIOUS for me as a CSA fan. Nothing much was DONE with that information in the books proper, but it allowed the fan community to fill in the gaps.

As for Omega... Ho boy that one. That story baffles me on every level. Robinson is a decent writer, and I enjoyed his work on Earth 2... but JLA Omega fails in EVERY SINGLE WAY possible. It fails in a basic understanding of CSA lore. It fails to be a proper "coming of age" story for Grayson-Batman and his younger League. The villain is a poor clone of Darkseid that has not been used since. Several plot points are nonsensical and insane. Grayson, the main protagonist of the then-current JLA, is written to seem like a coward who would "do anything not to die." And, oh yeah, the HUGE continuity gaff that is Alexander Luthor Jr. Add to that the numerous pointless character deaths in the story (it OPENS with the death of the Tangent Universe), and just about the only thing that could have made it worse is if the artwork wasn't at least passable.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 04:40:37 PM by Tomato »

Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2017, 04:44:48 PM »
Also wasn't expecting to see this updated, but very glad it is.

I have to say, I'm looking forward to reading the review on BnB. Haven't read any new comics lately, so I don't know what's out there in regards to the CSA currently, but I still haven't read "Syndicate Rules" or "Omega".

Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2017, 06:25:12 PM »
BnB part one is up now. I expect the next one will be a bit less robust, since I had more to say about this episode than I will have about it's comparably better counterpart.

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 08:50:18 PM »
Fun read, 'Mato!  I agree, the designs are just so unforgivably lazy that they really take away from that episode, but it isn't all bad.
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Tomato reviews the CSA (03/21/12)
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2017, 10:29:44 PM »
Spoilers for the gist of part 2 (which got delayed due to life kicking me in the down under last week. I want to get it done, but I may not have time until at least next weekend)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)