The title is pretty self-explantory, but there are some deals worth mentioning on Steam this weekend. The first is that the Steam Hardware (the controller and the Link) are both 33% off this weekend, bring down the price for each to $34.99. I honestly don’t have much interest in the Steam Link, which allows you to stream your Steam library to a television, but I’ve heard very flattering things about the controller and $34.99 brings it down into a much more palatable place for me. Cities: Skylines, which I already own and think very highly of, is marked down by 66% to $10.19 (its DLC also receives so smaller discounts). Skylines is a pretty great take on the old SimCity formula and, unlike recent iterations of that series, allows you build some pretty massive, spectacular cities. Like most city builders I have played, there does seem to come a point of critical mass where your city kind of takes care of itself, but I really enjoyed the time I spent with it, personally.
Okay, I’ve been out of my depth a few times as I’ve read the DC Rebirth books (having not read the DC books for some time, and being especially out of the loop regarding Green Lantern despite having a very strong affection for the character, generally), so I am really confused what is going on here in Green Lanterns: Rebirth. It is not, if you thought it was, about a Green Lantern you are likely to have heard of unless you are a previous, recent reader of DC, although the book does at least have the modesty to mock the number of Green Lanterns guarding Earth for whatever reason.
Instead of Hal Jordan or John Stewart or Guy Gardner (no one wants to read about Guy Gardner) or Kyle Rayner, Green Lanterns: Rebirth (written by Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries) goes with rookie Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, both of whom suck at being Green Lanterns but Hal Jordan totally has some things to do on the other side of space so he’s giving them the keys to the car. I know nothing about these characters and this one issue wasn’t enough to make me interested, to be honest. Of course, it is all setup, so it could pay off in the end, but they are going to have to continue to put effort into making Cruz and Baz likable, as their interactions here both feel a little childish. Which is probably what they are supposed to be, both having only very recently having been granted super powers and now being tethered together by a single magic ring battery that they both have to cooperate to share. It’s more that it’s a tough sell for why I should invest in these two petulant heroes as they defend Earth after just being dumped on the collective lap of the Justice League as they try to protect the Earth by the soon-to-be-invading Red Lanterns. Who I gather are not friendly and perhaps very angry.
Verdict: Just enough here to be curious as to if Humphries can develop Cruz and Baz into an interesting team beyond the ‘these two don’t get along and are learning to trust each other’ schtick and what sort of threat the invading Red Lanterns pose. I think Atrocitus’ parents should have thought long and hard before naming their kid that.
Green Arrow is a character that I know precious little about. I know that he and Green Lantern have been travelling buddies at various times, but I never read the rather-famous Green Lantern/Green Arrow books. And so I am well and truly in the dark as I launch into the one-shoot to get us started in this brave new DC Universe in Green Arrow: Rebirth from Benjamin Percy.
Aside from one or two stilted lines, this is my favorite of the Rebirth books so far. Green Arrow: Rebirth does a nice job of setting the stage by (re)introducing Oliver Queen, self-proclaimed Social Justice Warrior and insanely rich person. He is Robin Hood adjace, although he tends to go in for Batman-style vigilantism rather than the whole ‘rob from the rich and steal from the poor thing’. Green Lantern: Rebirth spends a lot of time setting out Oliver’s personal beliefs in his conversations with the Black Canary, another do-gooder with the ability of really loud yells, who came to her desire to help people because she was apparently poor. It’s a nice bit of juxtaposition. In any case, it appears that Green Lantern is going to take on some weighty real-world concerns (in this case, human trafficking) as Green Arrow and Black Canary follow down the lead of a group of kidnapping sewer dwellers who are kidnapping people that totally happen to raid the massive homeless camp at exactly the time that Green Arrow and Black Canary happen to be there. I guess it beats them wandering around for two extra pages. Anyway, it’s a good book that feels like it has actual stakes and is actually starting a story rather than holding it for when the new #1 comes out, which is a nice move. Of all of the DC Rebirth books, this is the one that has sold me on continuing to read the story the most.
Verdict: Juxtaposed characters with the same motive and the weight of the issues faced makes this book feel more ‘real’ than some of its counterparts and makes a promising start for the Rebirth of Green Arrow (and Black Canary).