zeeguy91's DC Comics - The New 52 FCBD Special Edition #1 review

So Excited

This issue got me...SO excited for the upcoming Trinity War event. My favorite part was the sentencing of Pandora, Phantom Stranger, and the Question and needless to say I'm curious about the role these characters will play in the event. In this issue, we delve deeper into Pandora's history and establish exactly who she is, what she's been through, and part of her plans. The goal of these plans, however, is still up in the air. Johns builds up a lot of suspense in this issue, while at the same time giving us some good action scenes. One in particular includes a standoff between Steve Trevor and Pandora herself. Also, that spread....wow! Color me pumped.

Posted by zackattack529

the worst part of this issue was definitely the first part you mentioned. i dont like how geoff johns is ruining those characters histories all at the expense of one of his huge epic crossover event shenanigans....*sigh why cant geoff jons just stick to aquaman :/

Edited by Zeeguy91

@zackattack529: Aside from Question, neither of the other two's origins have really been messed with. The Phantom Stranger's origin has always been up for grabs and I don't think he was ever really identified before. DC even published 4 different origin stories for the character, each one being deemed as "viable", meaning that the reader could have chosen any one of them to go with. Plus, I think its pretty cool that Johns has chosen to identify him as Judas.

As for Pandora, well, Johns created her. So its not really "messing with her origin" if the character's creator is just adding it. Either way, everyone has their own opinion. If you didn't like the issue, fine. But I did.

Posted by zackattack529

welll this comic was written by geoff johns so i didnt expect much. it was actually less than i expected..i expected garbage..this was lower. if i had to pay for this. id find his wife and show her what she really needs.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@Zeeguy91 said:

@zackattack529: Aside from Question, neither of the other two's origins have really been messed with. The Phantom Stranger's origin has always been up for grabs and I don't think he was ever really identified before. DC even published 4 different origin stories for the character, each one being deemed as "viable", meaning that the reader could have chosen any one of them to go with. Plus, I think its pretty cool that Johns has chosen to identify him as Judas.

See, I think that's the big problem. The Phantom Stranger worked so well as an enigma, nailing down an origin for him does seriously mess with the appeal of the character.

Posted by Zeeguy91

@zackattack529: First, I don't think he has a wife. Second, don't be stupid and say things like that. And third, it really wasn't garbage. We haven't even gotten to the real story yet. This was just the build-up. And I've seen a lot of people say positive things about this issue. For example, multiple people that I saw on CBR said things like:

Oh boy, this was one of the best FCBD comics that I've read in a while!.


I'll be there for "Trinity War!!!"

There's more, but I'll just leave it at that. So, if many people say good things about it, its not really garbage. You're entitled to your own opinion, but I'm just saying that you should maybe keep an open mind.

What exactly about it didn't you like? I thought it was a great build-up and a gave us a great glimpse into Pandora as a character.

Edited by Zeeguy91

@The Mighty Monarch: Well if they wanted to keep PS as an enigma, then they should have just left his origin completely unaddressed, not give us four different ones and then say "choose which one you like the best".

Actually, I think giving the Phantom Stranger one conclusive origin is a lot better than nailing him with four equally possible ones. I mean before we were forced to choose from:

  1. a private citizen during biblical times and was spared God's wrath. An angel was sent to deliver him from divine wrath. After questioning God's actions, he commits suicide. The angel forbids his spirit from entering the afterlife, reanimates his body and condemns him to walk the world forever to be a part of humanity but also forever separated from it.
  2. a man named Isaac with a wife (Rebecca) and a son during the time of Jesus' childhood. When King Herod heard that there was born a child who would be king of the Jews, he ordered the deaths of all baby boys in order to kill the Christ child. Among the people killed were Isaac's wife and son. Blind with anger, he spent the next 30 years in a rage against Jesus. Later, after being tried in part by Herod's son, Jesus was subjected to torture. On learning this, Isaac bribed a guard to assume his role in the flagellation of Christ. Upon this Jesus sentenced him into exile from his home and to wander until Doomsday.
  3. the proposal that the stranger is a remnant of the previous universe. At the end of the universe the Phantom Stranger approaches a group of scientists studying the event, warning them not to interfere in the natural conclusion of the universe. The story concludes with the Phantom Stranger passing a portion of himself to a scientist, the universe is reborn, and the scientist from the previous universe is the Phantom Stranger in the new universe. (This tale is somewhat similar to the origin story of Galactus in Marvel Comics.); or
  4. a fallen angel who sided with neither Heaven nor Hell during Satan's rebellion and thus condemned to walk the Earth alone for all time.

My philosophy: people shouldn't get attached to or worked up over specific details, given that this is supposed to be a new universe. In other words, just keep an open mind.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@Zeeguy91: There have to be limitations, it's not like we should've been prepared for Batman to run around in rainbow spandex, no cape, 5 arms, shooting laser beams; then he's just a completely different character.

And something can be SUPER popular and still be garbage.


Jersey Shore.

Need I say more?

Posted by Zeeguy91

@The Mighty Monarch: Yet. From the example you just provided with Batman, does that sound at all close to what Johns did with the Phantom Stranger??? No, I really don't think it is. God, you are seriously just overreacting to one minor change to a character who isn't even that well known!

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@Zeeguy91: It kind of is. Throughout his history, one of the biggest appeals of The Phantom Stranger was the fact that he was a complete enigma, a total stranger. I actually didn't want to know his origin, he was just this mysterious figure who came and went, offering cryptic advice and more help than most cosmic observers. Johns completely missed the point of the entire character.

All I'm saying is that just because things are changing doesn't mean all changes are necessary or good. Amanda Waller's been transformed nearly beyond recognition, and Dr. Sivana's been changed from a hilarious, yet eerily menacing short creep into Lex Luthor with a turtleneck sweater and hipster glasses (Also courtesy of Geoff Johns.) Some change is good, the new expanded world of Firestorm has lots of interesting potential, but in this case Johns has changed the character in terms of how he's perceived as a character. No longer a contemplative simple observer, he's now a seeker of redemption for the ultimate betrayal.

Edited by Zeeguy91

@The Mighty Monarch: Yet they gave him FOUR ORIGIN STORIES. Just because you want to ignore them doesn't mean they weren't there. So, needless to say he hasn't been that much of an enigma since the 1980s. I agree with you on Waller and Sivana (I'd blame Sivana more so on Frank than Johns), but I don't think its that bad with the Stranger. The description you provided of what type of character he is now:

No longer a contemplative simple observer, he's now a seeker of redemption for the ultimate betrayal.

Yeah, I'd say the latter description is actually kind of cool. Is there anything wrong with a redemption seeking character? I don't think there is. In fact, one of the origins from the 80s portrayed him in a very similar light and in that origin too, he was seeking redemption for attacking/raging against Jesus. Besides, he's not really seeking redemption when there's no way for him to go back to the way he was. He seems more like he's accepted his fate. And I have to ask, can't he ne both a contemplative observer and a character in need of redemption??? It doesn't have to be one or the other.

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

@Zeeguy91: These were four hypothetical origins, all suggested in the same single issue. That's not the same thing at all. None of them were officially designated his 'true' origin, that's why they gave us four at once, so that NONE of them would be considered canon, so that he could still be a mystery.

Sure, redemption seekers can be interesting, but not everyone has to be one. The Phantom Stranger was always on the side of the greater good, but he always came off as someone who simply wants to keep things the way they are 'supposed' to be. You can't be a casual observer and a redemption seeker at the same time, these things are nearly contradictory.

Some changes have been good, some changes have been bad. I'm not one of those people who just hates it when anything changes, but that doesn't mean I can't hate changes that do a disservice to the characters.

Posted by Zeeguy91

@The Mighty Monarch: Sigh....okay, I really don't care at this.

But I will say, I don't see how one can't be an observer and a redemption seeker at the same time. Like, how in the world do you arrive at the conclusion that those two are contradictory? Maybe he seeks redemption by ensuring things stay in balance with what the wizards have mandated, or whatever. I really don't think any disservice has been done to the character by giving him an origin. In fact, I think it makes him more interesting.

Other reviews for DC Comics - The New 52 FCBD Special Edition #1

    The New 52 Review 0

    Plot: For a FCBD comic, I felt DC really delivered. Three origins of some of DC's most mysterious characters. At least nu52 origins. A few questions were answered about Pandora, but I'm sure just as many were raised. Earth 2 was featured for one page, plus a glimpse of Earth 2's Lantern and Flash. There was even a new Lantern in this issue. There are sneak peeks at the second wave of nu52 comics and a preview for the Trinity War which was promised next year.Art: The four page Trinity War spread ...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

    Free Mediocrity 0

    So now we know Pandora's origin.... which is that she really IS Pandora. Ok. Oh what's that? Now The Question is mystical in nature? That's...... really weird, but ok? I guess it is a bit of neat new version of the character. And The Phantom Stranger is Judas..... REALLY? Really Geoff Johns? I never knew The Phantom Stranger's origins, in fact I'm pretty sure they've always been pretty vague in nature, and that's always been part of his charm. He's a mystical enigma who simply walks the world as...

    2 out of 4 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.