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Tangent Comics, Vol. 3

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Welcome to a very different world, where Batman is a true Dark Knight, doomed to live forever to atone for terrible sins. This Joker is a chaotic do-gooder with a killer sense of humour. This Nightwing isn't even human: it's the world's most dangerous covert organization. Welcome to a very different world, where Batman is a true Dark Knight, doomed to live forever to atone for terrible sins. This Joker is a chaotic do-gooder with a killer sense of humour. This Nightwing isn't even human: it's the world's most dangerous covert organization.


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Welcome to a very different world, where Batman is a true Dark Knight, doomed to live forever to atone for terrible sins. This Joker is a chaotic do-gooder with a killer sense of humour. This Nightwing isn't even human: it's the world's most dangerous covert organization. Welcome to a very different world, where Batman is a true Dark Knight, doomed to live forever to atone for terrible sins. This Joker is a chaotic do-gooder with a killer sense of humour. This Nightwing isn't even human: it's the world's most dangerous covert organization.

41 review for Tangent Comics, Vol. 3

  1. 5 out of 5

    Max

    This volume collects eight of the nine issues from the second and final run of Tangent Comics. For some reason the Batman issue was printed in volume two, even though it would likely have made more sense to have it hear. This isn’t the only odd decision on display in this volume, as the second run of Tangent comics has a much stronger intended reading order, which this collection completely ignores. Whereas the first run of Tangent Comics was content to use the very concept of new heroes with old This volume collects eight of the nine issues from the second and final run of Tangent Comics. For some reason the Batman issue was printed in volume two, even though it would likely have made more sense to have it hear. This isn’t the only odd decision on display in this volume, as the second run of Tangent comics has a much stronger intended reading order, which this collection completely ignores. Whereas the first run of Tangent Comics was content to use the very concept of new heroes with old names as its gimmick, the second run centers around a magical EMP turning off technology everywhere at the same time that a new super powered menace emerges. Well, it sorta centers on that. See, some of the comics are set before the lights go out, and some are after - plus of course the one comic that actually shows the inciting event. But the plot doesn’t actually get wrapped up by the time you reach the end of this collection. I guess they were betting on getting a third series? Instead, the follow up came a decade or so later in a crossover with the main DC universe, which I plan to read next. Also of note is that the length of each story here is half that of the first wave, hence the ability to put them all in one volume. The upside is I don’t have to spend as long with the comics I don’t like, but the downside is that some of these stories could’ve benefitted from more breathing room. On to the individual comics: The Superman: Definitely one of the highlights of the second wave, and an especially important story in light of the fact that he’s the title character in the later JLA crossover. This Superman is a seemingly ordinary man who was born of a horrific experiment run by Nightwing that’s clearly riffing on the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment and other medical abuses of African Americans. When he falls off the tallest building in the world, Harvey Lee Dent doesn’t die but instead unlocks his powers. His brain begins evolving at a rapid pace, eventually granting him godlike psychic abilities. But this isn’t his story, or not just his. It’s actually told from the point of view of his girlfriend, a woman who remains a normal person and watches as the man she loves becomes far more than human. It reminds me a bit of the relationship between Silk Specter and Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen, but whereas I dinged Tangent Atom for being too close to Doctor Manhattan, here I think it works because the narrator doesn’t have superheroics to fall back on. And at the end Superman offers her the chance to become as powerful as he is, which is a great way to end the story: after she’s seen the way godlike power has changed him, will she follow him? Wonder Woman: Continuing the theme of omnipotent psychic heroes, Tangent Wonder Woman is a space alien with powerful fighting skills who’s too busy carrying on an endless philosophical monologue to use them unless directly threatened. She’s a bit like if Deadpool taught a philosophy 101 class, and she even has the ability to erase people from existence if she decides they shouldn’t exist. Wanda, as she’s actually named, is the product of genetic engineering on a planet where the men and women have wildly diverged in their evolutionary paths. For some reason she winds up with a few things traditionally used by main DC Batman, including a batarang weapon. The story is fairly straightforward, focused more on giving her backstory than anything else, but it’s enjoyable enough and Wanda could work well in mainline DC if they didn’t already have enough super powerful space aliens wandering around. Nightwing Night Force: This comic marks the return of the rogue Nightwing agents from the first Nightwing comic, now christened Night Force. It also marks the return of the Doom Patrol, and they manage to infect the Night Force with their screw up tendencies. On the plus side, this comic has vampire Josef Stalin. On the downside, the plot is overly convoluted and confused, and introduces both the global EMP and the new Ultra Humanite threat without sufficiently exploring either. Plus it’s place in the collection really highlights the mess of organization, as it’s before another story it references and after at least one story involving the EMP. Sadly the Night Force’s second outing isn’t as good as the first, but at least the Doom Patrol is out of the picture for good. The Joker’s Wild: I’m especially torn on this one because Tangent Joker is a fun character, but the ending reveals that she’s actually three women all masquerading as the Joker. I had felt like the first Joker comic implied she was one heroine masquerading as three civilian identities and I think I prefer that idea, even if it’s a little difficult for somebody with no superhuman powers. The actual story is about the Jokers dealing with New Atlantis losing power due to the EMP, and while exploring how the Joker works without her gags and gadgets isn’t a bad idea, the whole thing feels like it’s too much in service to the metaplot. The Trials of the Flash: Thankfully this one is pre-EMP (noticing a pattern?). Really, it’s more of what made the Flash fun last time: her dad tries to capture her, his trap backfires, she runs rings around all threats. This time we see a new manifestation of her power where she uses her light bending abilities to disguise herself as other people. This leads to an especially clever sequence where she and another shapeshifter switch places to defeat Nightwing traps tailor made for them that now fail when faced with the wrong person. I do feel like the short length has some downsides, as we don’t get as much fun with Flash being a celebrity, though I do love her buzzing the Hollywood sign on the way to and from school. Tales of the Green Lantern: Just like last time, it’s a three story anthology in the style of classic horror comics. But this time, it’s Green Lantern presenting three possible origin stories for herself. In the first, she’s an archaeologist murdered by an evil businessman who’s brought back to life by the collective souls of those who died when Florida was nuked. In the second, she’s the twin sister of a genocidal necromancer who steals her sister’s powers to use them for good. In the third she’s a disciple of the dark coven behind Nightwing who must take up the Lantern to atone for her sins when her attempt to steal it fails. Personally I prefer the first origin since I feel like it’s the most poetic, though I like the idea of the lantern being a legacy position introduced in the third. Green Lantern is another of the characters I wish we would see more of, because her resurrecting the dead gimmick would be fun in comics universes that already treat death as a revolving door. Powergirl: The Tangent universe has delved into its version of the Cold War in regards to the Soviet Union before, but this is the first and only time it touches on China. (Apparently Nixon was assassinated there in the 70s) The Chinese are using genetic engineering to create new super humans they can control, and Powergirl is the latest experiment. This comic sees a group of characters introduced in the Metal Men working to free her, only to be opposed by both the Chinese government and agents of Nightwing, who want Powergirl for her own purposes. Of course she decides she wants nothing to do with any of them and flies off. The whole thing is set pre-EMP, and might have been an interesting story if it were allowed to get past it’s first chapter, but as things stand, I find this character much less engaging than the other high powered heroines in the Tangent universe. Justice League: This feels like it’s really the only comic to advance the Ultra Humanite plot and even then it doesn’t actually bring it to a close or even move it forward much. In the wake of the EMP, a group calling itself the Justice League decides that murdering all superheroes is a reasonable plan and attempts to bump off Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the first Atom. Only the last attempt succeeds, but even then it’s thwarted when Green Lantern revives him. The group is revealed to be run by the First Lady and a few others, a reveal that makes little sense in light of her actions in the Powergirl story. The thing ends with the four targets forming a Justice League because apparently the Secret Six wasn’t enough super teams, and no actual light is shed on what the Ultra Humanite’s deal is. Overall, it probably would’ve been an effective start to a complete story, but as the last thing done in the original run of Tangent Comics it falls rather flat. There was still enough stuff in this volume for me to have fun reading it, but I feel like moving away from the basic premise and attempting to create a Tangent universe crossover event didn’t work. It doesn’t help that they kinda half-assed it, and my favorite comics were definitely those that didn’t touch on the whole EMP thing. Though at least the ones that did brought us some fun stuff like vampire Stalin. I’m curious to finally see what the Superman’s Reign storyline is like and whether it will stand out from the pack of evil Superman stories.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zachary King

    I wish there were more to the Tangent universe because this volume leaves a few open ends and sets a pretty big setpiece between the lines. I think the stories suffer from being shorter than in the preceding volumes. Otherwise, more engaging divergent DC stories. THE SUPERMAN - probably the most interesting story in the book, by Mark Millar. Superman as a being evolved beyond humanity - I'd like to see more of him! WONDER WOMAN - Peter David spoofs the warrior woman by introducing her as a heroin I wish there were more to the Tangent universe because this volume leaves a few open ends and sets a pretty big setpiece between the lines. I think the stories suffer from being shorter than in the preceding volumes. Otherwise, more engaging divergent DC stories. THE SUPERMAN - probably the most interesting story in the book, by Mark Millar. Superman as a being evolved beyond humanity - I'd like to see more of him! WONDER WOMAN - Peter David spoofs the warrior woman by introducing her as a heroine who's lost in philosophy. Funny! NIGHT FORCE - more covert ops from Ostrander and Duursema. Worth the read if only for the vampire Stalin. JOKER'S WILD - revisiting one of Tangent's best with a tale that answers the question of her identity. Less fun than her first appearance, bogged down by negligible villains, but worth a look. TRIALS OF THE FLASH - Tangent's sunniest is back, and she's helping her Secret Six teammates reclaim their lives. The running gag with her clumsy father is still a hoot. TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN - which origin story is the real one? GL ain't telling, and this riff on the mysterious secret identity posits three compelling options. POWERGIRL - almost more a sequel to METAL MEN, the Chinese Powergirl never really gets to show her stuff. Definitely shortchanged by the one-and-done format of the Tangent books. JLA - the government attempts to kill the supers but only succeeds in drawing them together. Positing the JLA as this strike force is a neat idea, and I would have loved to see more about how the heroes react to this, but the book ends with a promise of "infinite possibilities," which I suppose we have to imagine.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Guy Robinson

    This is a strange sub-section of the superhero genre, namely that which concerns itself with the re-interpretation of established characters, and it is a task it takes to moderately well. In this volume it primarily introduces a revised Superman, Wonder Woman, Doom Patrol and Power Girl into a shared continuity with the rest of the Tangent Universe established so far. I'd only really recommend it you are very familiar with the base DC superhero universe, which might allow you to fill in the blanks This is a strange sub-section of the superhero genre, namely that which concerns itself with the re-interpretation of established characters, and it is a task it takes to moderately well. In this volume it primarily introduces a revised Superman, Wonder Woman, Doom Patrol and Power Girl into a shared continuity with the rest of the Tangent Universe established so far. I'd only really recommend it you are very familiar with the base DC superhero universe, which might allow you to fill in the blanks and references quicker. However the Tangent universe, as sketched in this and the preceding two volumes, is reasonable although they haven't quite thought out the implications of Superman's gift to his wife ...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    This edition collects the final issues of this great reimagining of characters in the DC pantheon. While you will not instantly recognize characters you will still feel connected to what the stories are and the mystery that surrounds this well-crafted universe. If you enjoy stories from DC like Elseworlds you will enjoy these stories.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    More fun, though the truncated page count for the stories did hurt some of them...you could tell that at least one of them was originally supposed to be double-sized.

  6. 5 out of 5

    John

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Brinks

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul W.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alger

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dovile

  13. 4 out of 5

    Henry Perez

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan McCollum

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dennis G

  18. 4 out of 5

    Index Purga

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Melara

  20. 5 out of 5

    Philip Cosand

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  22. 5 out of 5

    James Bowman

  23. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Kitchen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paul Sunderland

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Findley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  31. 5 out of 5

    Warren

  32. 5 out of 5

    Regalungelesen

  33. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  34. 4 out of 5

    Neil Fix

  35. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  36. 5 out of 5

    Wesley

  37. 4 out of 5

    Nazary

  38. 4 out of 5

    Amos Goh

  39. 4 out of 5

    Joshlynn

  40. 4 out of 5

    Igraine

  41. 5 out of 5

    Alex

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