The World's Greatest Heroes
The World's Greatest Comics
After the excellent weekly series 52, the... not-so-excellent Countdown to Final Crisis, and the acceptable Trinity series, DC has decided to take a new approach to a weekly series. Or, rather, an old approach.
Wednesday Comics is a deliberate Homage to old style Silver Age stories done in a 14-by-20-inch broadsheet format, like Sunday newspaper comics. Each page is different, with a continuing story, some showing the superheroes as their classic selves, others completely reimagining them.
So far, the stories are:
- Batman by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso
- Kamandi The Last Boy on Earth by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook
- Hawkman by Kyle Baker
- Deadman by Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck
- Superman by John Arcudi and Lee Bermejo
- Green Lantern by Kurt Busiek and Joe Quiñones
- Metamorpho The Element Man by Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred
- Teen Titans by Eddie Berganza and Sean Galloway
- Strange Adventures by Paul Pope
- Supergirl by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
- Metal Men by Dan Di Dio, José Luis García-López and Kevin Nowlan
- Wonder Woman by Ben Caldwell
- Sgt. Rock by Adam Kubert and Joe Kubert
- The Flash by Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher
- The Demon and Catwoman by Walter Simonson and Brian Stelfreeze
Needless to say, with all the heavy hitters (especially Gaiman and Allred), it turned out to be the next big hit.
Tropes used so far include:
- Alien Invasion: Several of the strips revolve around this.
- Anachronism Stew: Not within any of the strips, but in overall effect: most of the strips are homages to the Silver Age, and some are explicitly set in past decades (Green Lantern, 1950s; Metamorpho, 1960s), but we also have Pa Kent considering the potential of biodiesel and Selina Kyle telling how she "Googled" Jason Blood.
- Anthology Comic
- Art Shift: When reality fractures during the Flash storyline, the art style keeps switching to that of other newspaper comics -- Peanuts, Modesty Blaise, Blondie, and Dick Tracy -- before returning to its own style as reality settles down.
- Batman Cold Open: Batman's strip is actually the first one, but the trope is used for Metamorpho.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys:
- The Hecate Sisters: They make an appearance in the Wonder Woman strip.
- I Believe I Can Fly: Diana can't fly like a bird, but can swim through the air.
- George Lucas Throwback: Several of the strips (Green Lantern and Metamorpho especially) hearken back to The Silver Age of Comic Books. Kamandi plays off of adventure strips like Prince Valiant. Strange Adventures is a throwback to pulp sci-fi like Buck Rogers and John Carter of Mars, not unlike Star Wars itself.
- Jet Pack: Adam Strange always has one on hand.
- Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me: A distinct lack of, considering all the homages to the Silver Age, but Gaiman still manages to sneak in exposition about Metamorpho's power.
- Mythology Gag
- Or Was It a Dream?: The Wonder Woman reimagining starts like this.
- Planetary Romance: Strange Adventures reinvents Rann as a Planetary Romance setting.
- Rival Turned Evil: The astronaut in Green Lantern. Not entirely his fault, and he was a lot nicer than Hal back in the day.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: We don't get to see Diana's lasso or bracelets (until later in the story), but we do see her lesser-known ability to talk to animals (pigeons, in this case).
- Spiritual Successor: A strange example, as Palmiotti and Connor are also doing Power Girl, Supergirl's Earth-2 version.
- Sunday Strip: Basically, a Sunday Strip FOR COMIC BOOKS!
- Tear Jerker: Surprisingly invoked with the very somber ending of the Metal Men strip, specifically by the exchange that Doc Magnus and Mercury have while musing on the "deaths" of the rest of the Metal Men in stopping Chemo's meltdown.
Mercury: How can you improve on perfection?