So Now Who’s DC’s Smartest?


Mild spoilers for DC’s Doomsday Clock coming up. So Black Alert is on for anyone who hasn’t caught up with Doomsday Clock.

Doomsday Clock is two issues in and has raised a ton of questions so far. With Ozymandias in the universe, where does the hierarchy of DC’s smartest people stand now. The top three were always Lex Luthor, Bruce Wayne, and Michael Holt (Mr. Terrific). The next two are subjective, but some combination of Will Magnus, Dr. Sivana, T.O Morrow.  New 52 introduced Silas Stone as a an additional consideration on the smart chart. Now we have to factor in Ozymandias. It may be an effort in futility, but I am going to try to do it anyway.

It is easy enough to dismiss Sivana and Morrow. They are smart, but they can’t quite keep up with the top three of this list. Ozymandias was capable of doing just about anything in his universe. So he most definitely slots in within the top 3. Michael is capable of hopping through universes (managed to do it between Earth Prime and Earth 2) and a very smart entrepreneur. Arguably capable of rivaling Veidt’s business exploits. His T Face Plate documents encounters. Giving him an instant data base he can draw upon at a moments notice. His T Spheres offer a diverse offensive and defensive capabilities. To put it lightly, he is prepared for any situation. He might often be dismissed as lesser than the top 2, but he is every bit as much of a threat as they are. Yet, he was not the target of Ozymandias’ investigation. Only Lex and Bruce, for that reason, the worlds self appointed Third Smartest Man has been demoted to the 4th. He’ll have to do some rebranding it seems.

This leaves Bruce and Lex. the Worlds Greatest Detective and the world’s smartest man. Or at least this worlds smartest man. There is no doubt how intelligent and powerful these two men are. Yet in Doomsday Clock #2, Adrian seems to have little interest talking to Bruce. That leads Rorschach to go talk to him. He quickly figures out a way into the Batcave, and discovers Batman. Lex meanwhile appears to have no time for Ozymandias and quickly calls security. Scoffing at the notion that Veidt could have as superior intellect. So where does Ozymandias fit into the hierarchy. We know full well what Bruce and Lex are capable of. And when comparing their exploits, Veidt seems to pale in comparison. It is made worse that Veidt’s plans were undone by a journal and his world has fallen back into the same despair he attempted to fix. In a fight, it appears clear that Lex and Bruce would both have the upper hand. Bruce can easily out fight him, and Lex can just wait him out. Or crash a satellite into him. Which ever came first.

Given the similarities between Veidt and Holt, it appears that he is excluded from the top tier of smarts. Both Bruce and Lex appear to retain their ranks at first and second. Leaving Ozymandias to slot in as the DC Universe’s third smartest man. I’ll look at getting Michael Holt a consolation basket.



Ravingnerd’s Best of 2017: Best Reads

My nightly festivities got in the way of me getting this post out Yesterday, so you’ll have to figure out the best reads of 2017 today instead. I will be focused on individual series’ and not characters nor specific issues. Some have performed so well they have landed on the list with just a few issues. I have already spoken about several of these series’ in recent posts, so several of these should not be a surprise. So here we go!

There will be mild spoilers sprinkled throughout, so Black Alert is up!


10. Super Sons was one of the longest awaited books of Rebirth. We sadly had to wait more than 6 months after Rebirth’s launch, until just after the first of the year, to get this book. Needless to say, this book has been every bit as good as we thought it would be. What isn’t to love? A team up with the lovable Jonathan Kent and almost as lovable Damian Wayne. What could go wrong? Well nothing really. Jonathan has the powers of Superman while Damian is a little jerk who is up for anything. This book is very similar to Tomasi’s Superman story. It features the perfect balance of light hearted humor and fun to add into the action. It helps that Damian and Jonathan balance each other out very well. Jorge Jimenez’ art is perfect for capturing the raw energy that both Sons’ have and it often feels like they could burst off the page.


9. Grass Kings was Matt Kindt’s latest attempt to prove to the comic industry that he is one of the best writers in comics. Period. Together, with fantastic water colors from Tyler Jenkins, Matt is able to do what he does best. Write a compelling and fascinating mystery. Kindt’s name needs to be up there with Brubaker as one of the greatest mystery writers in all of comics. Books like Super Spy and Red Handed are some of the most brilliant reads out there. This time around, we get a newer kind of mystery from him. The Grass Kingdom is a land unto itself. It appears to exist outside of Federal jurisdiction, or at least that is how they operate. This, of course, hasn’t gone over with others. Including the villainous sheriff of the next county. The mystery in this book is three fold. What is the mystery behind the Grass Kingdom, why does it feel off? Who is responsible for the string of murders that have plagued the land for a decade? Biggest of all, who are we supposed to really trust? If you are looking for a thrilling and beautiful read, this is the perfect book for you.


8. Star Trek: Mirror Broken is an odd duck as far as Star Wars comics goes. I generally shy away from IDW’s Trek line, as it normally bothers me more than anything else. This book, however, does not. Mirror Broken, as the name suggests, is set in Star Trek’s Mirror Universe. Seen in the shows throughout the series in TOS, DS9, and Enterprise. There is an established time line that details the fall of the Terran Empire (it’s fine, they were pretty terrible). Mirror Broken shows us the TNG crew for the first time in the Mirror Universe. Believe it or not, none of them are particularly likable. Noticeable differences include Borg augmented Data, Barkley with a spine, and a psychotic Wesley Crusher (no he still isn’t likable. Scott and David Tipton helm the book better than they have some of their previous Trek books, and the interiors by JK Woodward are nothing to scoff at. This is absolutely worth the read for Trek fan out there. We also get to see Captain Jellico, and even in the Mirror Universe, I just love him.


7. X-O Manowar is easily the best book that you are not reading. Matt Kindt has taken the flagship Valiant property and turned it into a space opera epic for the generation. It Aric, Vandal with alien super armor. Has turned his back on Earth and his suit. Instead leading a simple life as a farmer on a foreign planet. When war comes, he is conscripted to fight. Yet he quickly realizes that he is in an army of ‘undesirables’ and that his unit is designed to fight until they die. The higher ups have no interest in their survival. It is up to Aric to not only win the day for his squad, but save as many people as he can. Heroes never seem to be able to escape being heroes, do they? The art by Tomas Giorello is also stunningly perfect. It is dynamic, and his wide shots of the alien landscapes range from beautiful to terrifying. This book should have made a lot more waves than it did, but you are hearing it from me. It is awesome. Valiant has also followed this up with Ninja K, another spin on one of their classic super heroes. With their feature film debut close at hand, these books should be must reads for anyone who is excited to see Valiant in film.


6. Superman has been one of the best books on the shelf period. Peter J Tomasi is the hero we need, not the one we deserve. Having written almost 2 and a half years of the best Superman you could ever imagine. His secret? Having fun! Sure things can get dark, but he is always able to bring things back. Case in point with his “Road Trip” arc from early in the year. After dealing with Manchester Black in a very dark and serious arc before, the Kent family could really use a rest. And that is exactly what they got. Yet instead of flying, Clark decided to do things a little more by the book. He rented an RV. The 3 issue story arc features the Kent’s going to various different monuments and historical markers, and interacting with people along the way. Central to the story is Clark teaching Jonathan to be a good, kind person. It may sound odd to say, but I think the best Superman stories are the ones that don’t feature big, all out brawls. It is the ones that focus on the underlying humanity Clark has. It is why stories like Injustice and Batman VS Superman are so hard for me to get behind.


5. Doomsday Clock. Do I really need to say more? The long awaited resolution to the Rebirth premise is finally at hand. Only 2 issues in, the story is more glorious than anyone could have imagined. Rather than deep diving into the Watchmen/DC Crossover, we take things a step back and find out how things have been going in the Watchmen universe. Not well. Rorschach’s journal told the world the truth of Ozymandias’ deeds, and united the world against him. Sadly, this also brought back the animosity between nations that Adrian had desperately been trying to avoid. We get a chance to see several fan favorite characters again plus the addition of a few new ones. The story has yet to really get going, but Geoff Johns knows what he is doing. What makes this series exceptional is Gary Frank’s art. Instead of relying on modern comic art methods, Frank is doing things differently. Gone are the overdone splash pages, or large comic images, and in its place are traditional 9 panels. This does not diminish Frank’s gorgeous art at all, it instills it. Every single frame can be poured over, and new readings will find new insights. Plus the classic feel to the book, is the perfect presentation for the Watchmen event we have all been waiting for. I know there are several people out there burned out on Watchmen due either to the film, Before Watchmen, or any number of other things. If you are one of those people, I get it. I was too. But the opening of this series should have everything you need to get you hooked in seconds. Trust me, and take the plunge.


4. Batman by Tom King has been an interesting book to figure out. At the start of its launch, it just seemed off. While everyone was positively abuzz about King taking over the title. Yet the book released to an underwhelming presence. In comparison to the other fantastic launches the rest of the Rebirth line had, Batman got lost. Yet 2017 is truly the year of Tom King. With his story arc “The War of Jokes and Riddles” and “Super Friends”, King has successfully made Batman one of the hottest books on he shelf again. Featuring the brilliance Mikel Janin on art, the War of Jokes and Riddles was the Batman epic of the year. Focusing on an untold story from early in Batman’s tenure, similar to Scott Snyder’s year zero. Joker, who is unable to laugh, is desperately trying to find something ‘funny’. On the other side is the Riddler, who’s motives are to kill Batman, thus answering the ultimate Riddle. In the process the villains of Gotham draw a line down the middle, and enter into a messy and bloody conflict. The messy conflict sees Batman do something we don’t normally see him do. There are a number of surprises and fantastic moments sprinkled in across the way that I won’t spoil. Tom King follows this dramatic and dark story arc with one of the most fun two part stories I have ever read. In “Superfriends” Clark, Lois, Bruce, and Selina go on a double date. The issue is to delightful to spoil, so go get on it.


3. Archie’s “Over the Edge” and “Heart of Riverdale” broke my heart this year, and deserves a high spot on this list. Mark Waid has a way of weaving comedy and tragedy into the same book, and has never shied away from pulling any emotion punches with this book. These arcs cranked those emotions up to a ten. I after nearly every issue I was left devastated and near tears. Yet this wasn’t due just to the darkness and tragedy that Waid just threw in my face. It was also due to how well he was writing the characters. They were as devastated as I. Yet how did they handle these dilemma’s? They bought guns to appease their vengeance. Just kidding! If you wanted that, go watch Riverdale. As for me, I will stick to the heartwarming melancholy that I get on a monthly basis from this book. Pete Woods’ art highlighted the energy and emotion of the Over the Edge arc. Audrey Mok took over for the Heart of Riverdale arc, and here sweet and personal style is perfectly suited for the subject material. Warning before you read, not everyone makes it out of this one alright. So bring tissues.


2. Batman: White Knight by Sean Murphy is easily the second best book of the year. Originally slated as the 4th arc of Scott Snyder’s All Star Batman, DC wisely gave Murphy free reign of this book. Set in an alternate universe, where the Joker eventually goes sane. As Jack Napier, he not only sees the lunacy of his actions, but the havoc that Batman has reeked across Gotham. He sets out trying to not only fix the broken and corrupt political system of the city, but to stop Batman himself. With Alfred clinging for life with an illness that Bruce cannot cure, he has gotten more and more savage. This story helps beg the question, what is Batman without Alfred? If the death of his parents broke an 8 year old Bruce, what would the death of his caretaker, friend, mentor, and surrogate parent do to him? The answer is nothing good. On top of this brilliant premise is the twist that has propelled the 3 issues of the series out so far so high up this list. There are two Harley Quinn’s. The original Harley is Harleen Qunizell, who legitimately fell in love with Jack (Joker) and was driven away at the height of his madness. Taking his place is a manic woman obsessed with Joker’s madness. The original wears her jumpsuit she debuted in, while the new favors a look more like her appearance in Suicide Squad. As a reader the devolution of Harley in comics has long been a point of contention with me. Seeing my issues with the character addressed so quickly and effortlessly was not something I had expected, but I loved it. This book still has another 5 issues to go, and Sean Murphy has barely cracked the surface of what he is going to do.


1.  Mister Miracle is without a doubt, the best series of the year, and is Tom King and Mitch Gerads at their finest. This series clocks in at just 5 issues of its 12 issue run, and has been a smash hit since day one. The story so far sees the titular hero thrust into a war between the New Gods and the forces of Darkseid. While it is made clear early on that absolutely nothing is at it seems, the curtain has yet to be pulled back to reveal the full extent of what is happening. The war has taken several turns so far, including the death of High Father. This has led to Orion becoming the new leader of New Genesis. Most recently he ordered the death of Mister Miracle under the accusation that he was corrupted by the Anti Life Equation (he may be, we don’t know). The book has managed to nail down a very dramatic and action packed story, and sneak in brilliant moments of comedy and heartwarming tenderness as well. Something Tom King has proven very deft at. Gerads art is a credit to this book. Able to pull off a captivating and brilliant read every issue, while also making things fuzzy enough to make the reader confused an unnerved. This is well worth a pick up if you haven’t gotten to read it yet.

Top of the Stack

Hey everyone! This post is delayed mostly because there really weren’t that many great books that came out this week. Normally I could go on and on about books like Action and Detective, but they both had sub par issues this week. I figure there is enough negativity in the world right now, so I won’t critique these books. Instead I will focus the few books this week that I liked. So with that done, I’ll get to it!


Mister Miracle #5

This book is hands down the best book on the shelf. Period. Tom King is able to embrace the bombastic and wild style that Jack Kirby brought to his books. In doing so, he is able to nail down the New Gods in a way few have since their creation. Mitch Gerads art is also perfect for the book. Able to make a page feel warm, yet unsettling. Heart warming, yet creepy. By sticking close to a 9 panel per page layout, the book has a classic feel to it which helps to add to both the overall enjoyment. Additionally it helps him sow seeds of distress that remind the readers that there is something sinister we haven’t seen yet. This issue is the best of the series so far. I have longed to get an issue that is just Scott and Barda exploring their relationship, and we get it in this one. I have long loved their love for each other, and this issue has it all. It has Barda, who is as strong as Wonder Woman, be more vulnerable then we have ever seen her. She spends the book with a smile on her face, but a heavy heart. The execution of Scott weighing heavy on her mind. Scott is much more relaxed, and seemingly at peace with the decision. We see them spend the last two days together. They do everything from enjoy a carnival, to eating at a diner, and some creative love scenes. With the book far from issue 12, we knew Scott wasn’t headed for the chair this early. The issues conclusion left one of the most dangerous women in the universe on a quest to protect her husband from a neurotic Orion. Yet sadly, I have to wait another 30 days to read the next part of it.


Port of Earth #2

I am a sucker for a good sci fi story, and this is one of them. The story follows an Earth that made contact with an alien consortium in the not so distant future. The aliens were not after peace, or war, or anything like that. They needed an intergalactic gas station. Their ships are powered by water, and Earth has an abundant supply of it. So an agreement was made. They give us some advanced tech while we let their ships fill up. Not enough to hurt the environment, just enough to get them to the next stop. The story is set several years after this bureaucratic first contact.  The story follows two agents of the Earth Security Agency. Tasked to guard the facility from unauthorized humans, or escaping alien entities. This issue picks up with them hot in pursuit of an escaped alien. A powerful being from a race the humans have not had the displeasure of meeting. Zack Kaplan is weaving threads of sci-fi, action, and alien horror. All excellently drawn by Andrea Mutti. If the story keeps up this way, Image will have another hit on its hands. I am hoping that this book finds an audience, as it truly is one of the best Science Fiction stories I have read in a long time.

Sadly, that’s about it for this week. I hope you will check these books out, if you haven’t  already. In the mean time, what are you reading?

Ravingnerd Rebirth


“This is Garnet, Back together”

Probably not the best way to start things off, but hey, that song is always stuck in my head. Hello internet. It has been several years since my last post. Time and time again I tried to revive this blog, and failed every time. Part of this was due to my exhaustion at work. Spending 40 hours a week working at my local comic store made me a bit jaded and tired of escapism. Comics, Games, and all matter of nerdy things no longer provided me the same comfort that they used to. Thus, trying to come up with the thoughts to engage the fantastic audience I had, never came to me.

In the years I have been a way, quite a bit has changed. Namely, I have gotten older. I have a tougher skin and because of this have found enjoyment in many things I used to. 2017 has been a tumultuous year for me (hasn’t it been for everyone?) and one thing that I have found that really relieves the stress and calms me down is writing. In my free time I write for a fantastic site covering the Toronto Blue Jays. That has helped, but even then that feels like work. Word Counts, topic assignments, editing, re-editing, and word counts can all make it a bit stressful. So I thought I should find a space where I didn’t feel pressured by any of things and could talk about things I love. I toyed with doing something else, but at the end of the day I wanted to do that here.

So with that out of the way. Ravingnerd is back! At least in someway. I can’t guarantee scheduled times for posts, but I do plan on re-engaging with the blog and hopefully engaging with some of the brilliant followers and friends I made when I ran this in its prime. The blog will be similar to what it once was, plenty of conversations about nerdy things, but less focused on news and reviews. If this is a feature people particularly care about, I will consider adding it again. So lets talk about what I am thinking about writing about.

  1. Intellectual conversations about hot topics in comic books. This includes the rise and fall of Marvel (much to my dismay, which is a sentence that should surprise any long time reader). What Brian Michael Bendis could do for DC, and other similar topics.
  2. In my free time I love to play Civilization. With the new expansion coming out in February, I will be playing as much as I can before everything changes. For anyone who plays the franchise, you will know that remaking history is fun. Seeing some of the things that the AI does can be exciting, and often hilarious. I would love to share some of my experiences. If anything, it will allow me to keep track of some of my games, and look back on them.
  3. Star Trek Discovery. I have long Star Trek, and the new series is no different. I love the show, and highly recommend it for anyone curious. The show is on a hiatus right now, and CBS All Access is running a month free for December. Anyone who wants to dip their toes into the show now has nothing to lose.
    I love you Cadet Tilly.
  4. Star Trek Adventures. It is a fantastic RPG system from Modiphus Games. I run a campaign for the staff of the store. I love the game, and I love the world I created. With HarmonQuest and other D&D shows coming out, I thought covering this great game might not be a bad idea.
  5. Plus anything else I might come up with. Or perhaps something someone wants me to talk about.

I fully expect to rebuild this blog from the ground up. I know I have attempted this several times, but I am fully invested in rebuilding this from the ground up. If there are any old followers out there who read this, leave a comment, I’d love to hear back from you!

Until next time,

Ravingnerd out

Also here is my cat. His name is Phoenix.

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The Old 52

With the most recent announcement that 4 original DC titles are getting the ax (Superboy, Birds of Prey, Batwing, and All-Star Western) in August, the remains of the “New” 52 are all but gone. Of all the books DC publishes now, only 21 original titles remain. That’s less than half of the books that were launched. While their are exceptions (Suicide Squad and Teen Titans are getting relaunched, JLI was scrubbed for story purposes, etc) it is still rather alarming to think that the original New 52 has dwindled this far. While DC has added solid replacements such as Earth 2 and Harley Quinn, those serve as the exceptions to DC’s line. The ongoing series’ and the once that have survived are the 21 I have noted above. Of all the books launched to replace books, very few of them exist. Of the Second Wave only Earth 2 survives, with Worlds Finest now joining Batman Inc, Dial H, The Ravagers, and GI Combat. Of the Third Wave, we Phantom Stranger is joining Talon, Sword of Sorcery, and Team 7. The next few launched were JLA and Katana, also now gone.

While I will give DC credit for trying new things, with only 23 books on the shelf that have proved to be tried and true, a problem has emerged. Only time can tell if some of DC’s more recent gambits such as JLU, Infinity Man, Constantine, JL 300, and the Superman-Batman/Wonder Woman books will test as well as Earth 2 and Harley Quinn have thus far. To truly succeed and gain back market share, DC is going to need to be bold, but also smart. I posted previously how I felt Marvel’s Hawkeye strategy was effective, and should be emulated. DC needs some help adding titles that can survive in the long run. And with characters like Cyborg, Captain Marvel, and even Lex Luthor gaining increased popularity, DC has the characters to do it. Once again, I’m all for them trying new and bold things, but they need to balance that with books that can and will sell. I may not know exactly what those books look like, but I’m pretty sure all of us out there have many ideas that DC could utilize. For that we’ll have to wait and see what we get to replace these books come October.

What are your thoughts on the matter? What do you think DC has done right and how do you think they could improve for the future?

Until the next time, Rn

What We’ve Been Upto: Summer Edition.

Hey out there to everyone who accidentally stumbled onto the Ravingnerd page. This is for you. We here at Team Ravingnerd have all had incredibly busy summers. I worked 40 hours a week fixing computers in the Geek Squad at Best Buy. It wasn’t very exciting. Ravingnerd has been slaving away in the salt mines at Kroger grocery store and The Writing Writer has been doing his thing. We are poor college kids who need money. But we have so many things to look forward to in the future as a result of our hard work and saving our monies. We now have the opportunity to move into what we here around the Ravingnerd headquarters (which is a real thing now that Ravingnerd and I are now roommates) are calling Ravingnerd Phase 2. We will be revealing more details about it in the upcoming weeks, but it is safe to say that things will only get more awesome from here. Expect to get more articles about more variety of topics, and more articles about things you have come to expect from Ravingnerd (Ravingnerd Reviews, ADAM REVIEWS STUFF,

What are all the changes that will be made? You’ll just have to wait to find out. But we plan to unveil the changes in the next few weeks. Regular content production will commence asap and for THAT you should celebrate.

Welcome to Phase 2.

Ravingnerd Reviews: Astro City #1

Greetings everyone! I’ve been battling what is being called the Kryptonian Flu. I am definitely not getting into the details, but I have been struggling to cope for quite a few days. Hopefully I’m on the mend now, and thus will be able to serenade you with the copious amounts of reviews that I just wasn’t able to get to yesterday.

The first is arguably the biggest release to come out recently, the anticipated return of Astro City. I have long been a fan of Busiek and Anderson’s vibrant universe, and am ecstatic to have this book as apart of the Vertigo line. It seems like such a good fit, so without further set up, let’s get right into what I liked.

1. Brent Anderson out does himself here. While I criticized his heavily lined and shaded Phantom Stranger, it is nice to see him step out of a moody book and into what suits him best. This book is just beautiful to read.
2. It offers a fresh start, while this is not the first Astro City comic, and it certainly does fall within the Astro City continuity, reading that doesn’t matter. It helps to get attached to some of these characters, but not necessary to get invested in this story.
3. Busiek has a definite story to tell, and that story feels unique while familiar at the same time.
4. We get a glimpse of most of the familiar characters. We see the Samaritan, Winged Victory, The Confessor, and Crackerjack. The only one missing was Jack-In-The-Box.
5. The use of the Broken Man to tell the story is fascinating, funny, and quite interesting.
6.. Seriously, it’s the return of Astro City. It’s finally here!

Rating before reading: 7
Rating after reading: 9

What a well done story and introduction/re-introduction to the Astro City universe. Busiek hits the ground running, and is evenly paced with Anderson’s pitch perfect art for the book. Whether an ongoing or limited, this is going to be one fantastic ride. My one complaint would be the lack of nostalgic feel. We only see limited glimpses of the characters that we have grown to love. While I understand the importance of appealing to new audiences, I find myself missing the characters. Of course I just re-read all of the Astro City volumes, so that would explain my extreme sense of nostalgia for the series.

So despite it all, this opening issue blew me away. From the Broken Man to the door, I am hooked once again in the magnificent city (and world) of tomorrow that Busiek and Anderson have created.

So if you missed it, pick it up. This is the perfect opportunity for new readers to hop aboard, and a fabulous start for Astro City fans to venture back into this wonderful universe.

Until the next time my friends,