2013 smells like Speed Force

Welcome to 2013, folks! Today we have three books up on the chopping block; two I love, and one that I love to hate. Let’s just jump right in!

Ha, oh Teen Titans. You know, I do believe I’ve had just about enough of you. As usual, Lobdell’s dialogue is weak, the general story is abysmal, and the idea that Tim is perfect with no flaws and knows everything…but still manages to get outsmarted by the Joker is just…bad writing. Okay? This book? Bad. I’ve been taking issue with it all year long, but I can’t do this anymore. No one addresses how Skitter has just been gone since before the end of the Culling event, no one really addresses how Superboy seems to pick and choose when he actually wants to be part of the team, they let Danny the street commit suicide to bring them home, and the last arc was all about how Cassie is bad at relationships. Teen Titans is not a good book. I’ve been unwilling to drop it because…they’re my babies. Bart, Tim, Cassie, Kon, even Kiran and Miguel. They’re my babies. I grew up with the first four, and grew to love Kiran before Lobdell got his talons into her. Miguel is darling in small doses, and could be amazing under a proper writer. So this is it. My sendoff. I’ll read the final issue of the DotF crossover for it, but I won’t be reviewing it. Goodbye Teen Titans, you were fucking horrible.

Batman Incorporated is one of those books that, if you want a payoff right now, you’re not going to like. Grant Morrison has been building up this storyline for years, ever since Talia lost Damian to his father. Her aborted attempt to get him back in Batman and Robin, only to end with her expelling him from her side of the family, seems to have been a feint, to see what he’d do. As it seems, mother dearest has been keeping tabs on her beloved Detective and her baby boy all along, going as far as to incapacitate the Dead Heroes Club…permanently, as it would look, in the case of Freight Train and the Knight. Ooh, yeah, moment of silence for him. After his Squire has a near-miss with the dark lady, a servant of the Demon’s Head takes out her protector. That really stung, as their mini was excellent, and I’d hoped that their involvement in Batman Inc might lead to them gaining popularity, and possibly their own book. In lighter news, this issue seems to include the origin of Alfred the cat, one of the only characters that seems to follow Damian into adulthood. Oh, a thought came to mind. As odd as it may be, I think Talia is the only person intimately connected to the Bat that has been left out of the Death of the Family event…which leads me to believe that the Joker is afraid of her. Smart move there, clown.

As you all may know, Flash #15 was supposed to come out last week, but a tricky thing called ‘Christmas’ waylaid it until today. Which is a damn shame, really, as this issue would have been the perfect thing to end 2012 on, for me. Reading it, I got shivers, especially on the last nine pages. Don’t get me wrong, Marcus To is a master storyteller. His craft, his art, is spectacular, and the first eleven pages of this issue could not have been handled more beautifully. But Francis Manapul…I have creative heroes. I have creative crushes. And then there’s Francis Manapul. With only Barry’s sparse mental dialogue and the images of possible futures, should the humans of Central and Keystone attempt to keep defying Grodd, Manapul manages to fit issues worth of content into nine pages. He has ascended to Perez-esque levels when it comes to attention to detail and is, in my opinion, out of the ridiculous stable of talent they have assembled, DC’s current top artist. I realize that this is more of a critique of the creators than a review of the issue, but trust me. Flash #15 is not an issue you want to miss.

And that was this week in comics. If you’ve got the spare dollars, I also cannot recommend Glory, American Vampire, the final issue of Punk Rock Jesus, and the first issue of Fionna and Cake enough. See you next week when I take a look at Animal Man and Swamp Thing!


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