Alter-Ego: In blackest night, no pilot's light, awaits the city frights

Another week passes when those of us who want to get back to stomping around in DC Universe Online are left to our own devices. Meanwhile, Sony is continuing to work toward restoring its service as the days of the longest large-network MMO outage tick by. (We are, after all, all about the MMOs here at Massively!) Since last week's column, Sony Online Entertainment has announced that not only will subscribers be getting the free month plus a day for each day the network is down along with the Batmask, but there will be additional goodies as well.

For DC Universe Online players, that means the previously mentioned Batman and new Two-Face inspired masks (no word on whether this will be one mask per side or both masks for both sides) and 30 Marks of Distinction. Station subscribers will also get 500 Station Cash, and Lifetime subscribers get 10 additional Marks of Distinction. (For those not familiar, Marks of Distinction are what you need to get Tier 2 raiding gear.) Personally, I think the marks are a wise choice of bonus since locked out players re essentially losing the chance to run dailies and raiding, both of which involve timers. The amount is also especially wise -- it's a good portion based on outage time but isn't so huge that people can immediately jump into lots of T2 gear. The cheapest piece (back-slot) would take all 40 marks a Lifetime subscriber had.

Meanwhile, as SOE remains locked in its security and networking cocoon, we're left on our own to hunt down other DC Comics entertainment. As I'm also a player cut off from running around and then using this column to write about things I'm experiencing in the game, this week I figured I'd once again diverge from the game to the larger DC Comics universe and take a look at a few cool DC things to come.

Unless you've somehow managed to miss it, you're likely already aware that geeks everywhere are buzzing about the upcoming Green Lantern movie. From all the teasers released thus far, it appears to be every inch the shiny summer blockbuster that people will flock to, even if they're not familiar with the character before they go into the movie. As I mentioned in my post last week, the Free Comic Book day Green Lantern title was a reprint of Green Lantern #30 (Secret Origin #2), and it offered people new to Green Lantern a glimpse into his story. The choice to reprint that issue makes sense, as that particular chunk of the Secret Origin series introduces us to some of the characters we're going to see in the movie without giving away gobs of the story of the story ahead of time.

Seriously, watch this and then tell me this trailer doesn't look awesome:


As with any movie based on print media, there's a huge chunk of history to dig into, especially when it comes to comic books and their oft-confusing retroactive changes to continuity, more commonly known as retcons. If you're the type who prefers to walk into comic-book movies armed with a bit more information about the overarching story, I'd point you toward three of the Secret Origin comics -- #29, #30, and #31 -- as a solid starting point. Should you prefer to dig deeper, then the Green Lantern: Secret Origins hardcover will take you all the way up to issue #35 in the Green Lantern tale. With that said, I'd warn that you're in potentially hardcore spoiler territory at that point, so beware.

Then again, if you find the entire concept of the Green Lantern is just ridiculously awesome and you're in the mood to take on some behemoth reading, here's a handy Blackest Night reading guide that should help you really take a good, solid dive into the light. Be warned, though: Following the whole story and its branches involves a great deal of jumping around through different comic series. Don't be surprised if it takes you a while to gather them all up if you are determined to have paper copies. Alternatively, you can simply read through them and enjoy the story, then chase down the other issues later either via a comic book store or DC Comics' online store, if you're so inclined.

In terms of other news for DC comic lovers, it appears that the Wonder Woman series planned for later this year on NBC has been scrapped and likely won't be coming to the small screen at all. Sources report that the pilot episode didn't sit too well with the test audience. First, it was the costume; later, it was apparently also the story. Considering the series was supposed to revolve around Wonder Woman's being a high-powered CEO by day and a crime-fighter by night, I can't say I'm too surprised.

With all due respect, it sounds like someone decided to give Wonder Woman the Batman treatment, which seems completely contrary to everything I remember about her. (I'm admittedly not the biggest Wonder Woman fan.) I personally didn't really care as much about the costume, considering the changes we saw to Wonder Woman's costume before. At least we'll always have Linda Carter, eh?

Finally, I can't resist mentioning (with much giddy squeeing, I might add) the upcoming Batman title, Batman: Arkham City. If you haven't played Batman: Arkham Asylum yet, you need to run -- not walk -- to your nearest purveyor of fine video games and pick up a copy. Right now. The trailers out there for Batman: Arkham City so far look absolutely amazing. I'm sure our sister site Joystiq will undoubtedly pounce all over anything coming out of E3 this year. There's also a related Batman comic that just started up as well; it will offer readers a look into the storyline of the upcoming game while we all wait for the planned October release date. About the only downside to the game is that no multiplayer feature is planned.

Let's hope SOE has DC Universe Online back up for those of us who are missing out on massively multiplayer action before then. In the meantime, enjoy this drool-worthy trailer and go get your pre-order in. You know you wanna!


Every week on Saturday, strip off the mask of your Alter-Ego and soar through the world of DC Universe Online with Krystalle, then catch up with Larry on Wednesdays as he showcases the superhero game on the Alter-Ego livestream. Send up a bat-signal to ping Krystalle or Larry with your burning questions. (Packages wrapped in green with a purple bow will be returned unopened.)
This article was originally published on Massively.