State of the Multiverse 20

Brave and the Bold #27 Cover

My heart-strings were well and truly pulled last night as I read the start of this weeks crop, and surprising enough not by a black ringed zombie trying to eat it.

However, on the matter of the Blackest Night, the latest instalment really picked up the pace. Finally out of the set-up phase, the story begins to move along at a fast pace, as the heroes begin to realise the gravity of the situation, we finally meet the Indigo Tribe and Ronnie Raymond returns! Sort of.

I like Ronnie, and as much as I truly enjoyed John Ostranders run on Firestorm all those years ago, I always felt that Ronnie got a raw deal. And let’s face it, his short run in Extreme Justice really did not help a great deal.

So now we see the history of the universe as told by the Indigo Tribes perspective. The zombies are not the invaders, we are? Wow. Good point, but wow nonetheless. Way to go to make one feel safe.

Meanwhile in that other multiverse, the weekly Marvel Zombies Return has finally put forward a good issue. #3 brings together some of the threads we have seen so far, as we now know at least three (and thus probably all) of the zombies are on the same earth, christened Earth-Z. Spider-Man whines some more as he saves the native Kitty Pryde from the zombie Wolverine. Hearts abound, but again mainly as appetizers.

What really warmed my heart this week was the Brave And The Bold #27, starring Batman and, wait for it, DIAL H FOR HERO!

Robby Reed and his grandfather visit Gotham, and then the H-Dial is stolen. There’s a nice not-quite plot twist at the end, and despite the conclusion dripping in sentimentality,the whole story had a feel of the stories of the seventies, with a slight nineties style realism. It is not revealed which Batman is in the story (although by his words, it’s pretty obviously Grayson I think), but that is irrelevant, this is a story that focuses on Robby Reed, one another and the theme of redemption.

I have followed the H-Dial bearers since I discovered DC. I was too young to read Robby’s original adventures, by the time I discovered the H-Dial, Robby has split into the opposing beings of the Wizard and the Master, the H-Dial had spawned smaller dials carried by Chris King and Vicki Grant. I saw the tragic fates that befell that pair in the pagesof the new Titans, the new bearer of the Dial in Superboy And The Ravers (which is vastly under-rated, and I highly recommend that series, it’s a fun romp), and then the more serious H.E.R.O series. That’s not to forget Lori in the Reboot Legion titles, carrying the Dial into the thirtieth century.

Still, it’s nice to see the Dial back in the hands of its original owner, and I hope we are to see a lot more of Robby Reed. Is it time for a solo series? Or even a back up strip somewhere? Please?

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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