They’re supposed to save the BEST for last, what the hell?!

A very small week, compared to the rest of the month. Five books, one of which is a, gasp, Marvel. I don’t know why I’m acting so surprised, mainly because it seems like Kick-Ass 2 is going to be running on time now. Shall we get down to it?

It’s not often that I pick up a comic that makes me curse out loud but damnit, Kick-Ass 2, you’ve managed it. Cop-killing, child-murdering, rape, and various other acts of gore are splashed across the pages of the fourth issue of this series, and I don’t know if I love it or hate it. On one hand, such violence doesn’t really bother or offend me. On the other hand, the former Red Mist (I’m not using his ‘supervillain’ name, because it’s stupid) hunts down, gang-rapes, and beats up a girl that he believes to be dating Kick-Ass…on false information. It’s not just offensive, it’s gross. Though I will admit to enjoying the character Mother Russia. She’s refreshingly bloodthirsty, yet shows no emotion while committing deplorable acts of violence, as well as being paid for her services. I’m torn on my feelings for this issue, but I wouldn’t recommend it to the faint of stomach.

Justice League Dark was…odd. It’s a magic title, that’s the first indication that it wasn’t going to exactly be normal, but then it’s also DC’s way of pulling older Vertigo characters into the DCnU. Namely, John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, and Shade the Changing Man. The story centers around Enchantress going insane, and Xanadu needing to pull together people strong enough to fight her. The first issue is basically a setting up issue for the rest of the storyline, but it’s still pretty good in itself.

I was sort of wary of the New Guardians book, just by idea. The promo shots have all shown one Lantern of each Corps either working together, or fighting each other. The Lanterns are as follows: Bleez from the Red Lantern Corps, Glomulus from Agent Orange, Arkillo from the Sinestro Corps, Kyle Rayner from the Green Lantern Corps, Saint Walker (who wasn’t actually in this issue) from the Blue Lantern Corps, Munk from the Indigo Tribe, and Fatality from the Star Sapphires. The issue starts with Kyle Rayner’s origin from when he first became a GL. The years quickly pass as all across the galaxy, Lanterns of the different corps lose their rings, and said rings make their way to Earth, seeking out Kyle Rayner. And then the brawl ensues. You know, I like this issue. It’s an interesting concept, that Kyle Rayner has been chosen to be the sole guardian of the emotional spectrum. and that the people whose rings were taken don’t want him to be. The art is spectacular, the Kirkham/Batt team really know how to draw women. And the writer is Tony Bedard, who I’ll probably keep throwing money at so long as he’s writing books set in space. So long as the next issue keeps up the quality, I can see myself reading this book for a long time.

Right off the bat, before I even open the issue, let me tell you what I don’t like about the new Flash series. For starters, the last Flash series starring Barry Allen wasn’t that great, and the sales reflected that. It was dull, the supporting cast was next to nonexistent for the first arc, and the second arc had everyone wondering why the fuck Barry was being so distant from all the people he supposedly loved. Newsflash, Barry my man, ‘dark and brooding’ doesn’t work on a character that wears bright red pajamas and had his nephew for a sidekick. What’s my point? If the last Flash series starring this incredibly dull character didn’t do well, why are you trying again? And, as an added kick, they’ve made it so that he and Iris were never married. Okay, this I take a major issue to. If Barry and Iris were never married, how does Kid Flash exist? It can’t be Wally, because de-aging him and putting him back in the yellow tights is a big FUCK YOU to everyone that worked on his series, or spent time developing him as a character. And it can’t be Bart, because that’s basically telling us that yup, Barry and Iris are going to end up together anyway, which would make every relationship he cultivates in this new series completely moot. Anyway, enough of my bitching. Time to open up the first issue of the brand new Flash series and see what I think.

Okay, the introductory credits are pretty cool, credit where credit is due. Francis Manapul is a ridiculously talented artist and, while his Barry and Iris looked very young for their ages in the last Flash series he drew, the style fits here. Barry is supposed to be a man in his late twenties, and it shows. The story, when focusing on Barry and not the women in his life, is actually really interesting. Barry is at a tech symposium when it’s robbed, and one of the wannabe thieves is killed in the escape. As it turns out, said thief is actually an old college friend of Barry’s, which is a shock to him. The bigger shock comes later in the issue when Manuel, the supposedly dead man, shows up at Barry’s apartment, alive and well. The twist at the end of the issue was something I kind of called as soon as I saw that Manuel was alive, but it was still a good reveal. Overall, this seems like it could make for a good story. Who knows, maybe putting Francis Manapul in the writer’s seat was good for the series. Maybe Geoff Johns, who was also writing Blackest Night, Brightest Day, Green Lantern, and a Superman mini over the course of his run on the last Flash series, simply had too much on his plate to write a good Barry Allen story, and removing him from the equation will let the series flourish. Whatever the case, Francis Manapul’s Flash has definitely made me proud to be a fan of those who ride the lightning, for the first time in a while.

And this is what it all leads up to. Teen Titans was one of the first comic books I’d ever read as a kid. Well, New Teen Titans back issues. When I finally had the money to start going to comic shops and browse on my own, the book had switched casts completely. Though it only ran for two years, the ’96 Jurgens Titans team is still one of my favorites. Actually, I have a soft spot for younger teams. My very favorite ongoing series is Young Justice. Like the earlier New Teen Titans issues I’d devoured, Young Justice was made up of a set group of teenagers and, aside from adding some supporting cast members like Red Tornado, Snapper Carr, and agents Fite and Maad, the team basically stayed the same for the six years it ran. I wasn’t as impressed by the next Teen Titans team that formed from the Young Justice kids, probably because Geoff Johns was again, taking on too much work (his run on Teen Titans was also when he was writing JSA and Flash), though I really loved the One Year Later team…under the pen of Sean McKeever. But now my babies are being written by Scott Lobdell, who is also the writer on the (now infamously funny/bad) Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Superboy. Hmm. Interesting. Lobdell is writing the Superboy ongoing, and the character of Superboy is going to be in Teen Titans, which he is also writing. Hopefully he won’t get Johns syndrome, which I just made up. Basically, when Geoff Johns was writing Teen Titans, the character Kid Flash would also show up periodically in the Flash book he was on except…maybe it’s because he assumed that kids act differently around their friends, but the Bart Allen in the Flash series was a lot more likable than the Bart Allen in Teen Titans, at least from my perspective. Anyway, enough introspective, it’s time to read this new book.

I hate the world.

No, no, let me explain. This attention-grabbing Kid Flash? His personality was lifted from Teen Titans Year One’s Kid Flash. Except, in the scene with Tim and his magic screens, it clearly says that his name is Bart Allen. Whelp, looks like Barry’s meaningful relationship with Patty Spivot has been shot dead at the starting line. Oh, and speaking of Tim’s magical spy-screens, current recognizable kids on the radar include: Gar Logan as either Beast Boy or Changeling, Virgil Hawkins as Static, M’gann M’orzz as Miss Martian, Raven, Man-Bat’s kids (which, I’m honestly surprised that they still exist when so many other characters don’t), that Bunker kid, someone from Star City (Mia?), Kiran as Solstice, and a girl who could be either Traci 13 or Black Alice, though I’m more inclined towards saying it’s Traci. But back to the story itself. So far, Tim is the obvious star of this series and right off the bat, it looks like his love interest is going to, once again, be Cassie. No, not Cassie. I don’t know who this chick is, but I know she isn’t Cassie Sandsmark. Another thing. Why have all these shiny new characters on the cover when none of them show up? Ahh whatever. I’m going to stick around, mainly because I want to meet these new kids. If I don’t like them, I’m gone.

I’m Touch of Grey, this was the last week of the first month of the reboot, and I need to go lay down. Stay tuned, as I’m going to post my official reboot Want and Do Not Want lists within the next few days.

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