Posts tagged Teen Titans

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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Hell is a place on Earth (called Gotham City)

Before I jump into this week’s comics, I’d like to have a moment of silence for James Jesse. On this day, five years ago, a terrible Crisis tie-in series killed him off. Some may call it an act of mercy, seeing as the rest of the series seemed hellbent on driving his friend Hartley Rathaway completely bugfuck insane. Comics have felt dry and devoid of any rubber chicken-related humor ever since.

So, who called it? I mean, of course Laurie was going to go back to her mom in the end. The series had to end like that. But she also killed a man with a high-heeled shoe to the throat and a hippie bus, so there’s that. All in all? The Silk Spectre Before Watchmen mini wasn’t bad. I’m saying this as someone who was never really a huge fan of the original Watchmen book in the first place, though, so your mileage may vary.

Well, at least the art was good. DC, I’m begging you. I’m throwing myself on the ground at your feet and fucking pleading with you, take Scott Lobdell off Teen Titans. Take him off it. Give the book to someone else, cancel it, I don’t care, just get Scott Lobdell away from my babies. Cassie deserves more than just being the center of a love…er, rectangle? Whether Diesel died or not was never really made clear. But anyway, she’s so much more than just a love interest, and Lobdell simply doesn’t understand that. Same goes for Kiran. I want to know how she ended up in that state, and who the meta offering to turn her human again is. But it’s likely that this plot, just like the one with Skitter, will be ignored until after the Death of the Family tie-in issues. Speaking of which, Lobdell has two books that tie into Death of the Family, Teen Titans and Red Hood and the Outlaws. My soul weeps.

Ha. Hahaha. Hahahaha Bruce you douchebag. We return this month to the world of Batman #666, where Damian was both Batman and a loving cat owner. Things I’m glad to see: wheelchair Babs, Alfred the cat, Damian’s shaved head. Things I’m not glad to see: that the entire Batman #666 future scenario is a dream that Bruce had, which is his main reason for sending Damian away and keeping him at an arm’s length. You lunatic, you had a dream. Dreams do not dictate the future unless you are Naltorian. So shut the hell up and let your League of Assassins-trained child be a superhero. He’s certainly a lot more qualified than you or the rest of your Robins ever were.

I was a little confused by this month’s Flash, so I ended up going back and reading it twice. Okay, so. What happened this issue? Well, uh. Flash ran around fighting Grodd. I’m not disappointed with this issue, not completely, as there was a great scene with the Rogues where Lisa temporarily relinquishes control of ‘her’ team so that they have a better chance of making it out alive, not to mention the nice bits with Patty and Turbine, and the relevance of that dang gorilla from issue #9 finally came to light…but where is Axel? Piper and David? I mean, we see Forrest getting kidnapped by Grodd’s army, but how are the rest of the Central City Police Force faring? I don’t know. As far as showcasing Grodd’s strengths and Barry’s weaknesses when fighting against someone connected to the Speed Force, this issue was fantastic. But still, it was basically a big fight scene with a bit of exposition attached, so that’s a bit of a turn off for me, personally.

Not a bad way to end a month! Also of note, the new Adventure Time and American Vampire came out this week, I highly recommend picking them up! See you next week when we start the countdown to the end of 2012 with Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Minutemen, and the Death of the Family tie-in issue of Detective Comics. Have a good Wednesday, folks!

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When do you offer a handshake to a 500 lb gorilla?

DC blows its wad a bit early this week, with three books for me to look over. We’ve got one week left to October, guys! Anyway, let’s just jump right in.

Batman Inc is…odd. It’s never been a staple title for me, mainly because, aside from the way he writes Damian Wayne, I’ve never really been fond of Grant Morrison’s Batman work. He’s a great writer, and I’m a big fan of his Animal Man and All-Star Superman, and while it’s clear that he loves Batman and is very passionate about him, it just doesn’t click well with me. In any case, this issue is the fighting debut, and possible finale, of Damian’s new identity, Redbird. Still laughing over that name. For the uninitiated, the Redbird was Tim Drake’s car back when he was Robin. Not to mention that Tim is “Red Robin” now…sending us mixed signals, Dami dear. The surprise identity reveal of Wingman at the end has me hoping for future team-ups between the two, but it’s not really seeming likely.

This month’s Teen Titans features the revised origin of Cassandra Sandsmark, the one and only (according to DC) Wonder Girl! And it sucks. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. But this book currently sucks so much dick, I feel like I should be paying it extra. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer my heroes to be heroic. Having Cassie start off as a thief, even before she meets the ‘bad news boyfriend’, under the nose of her mom, for heaven’s sake?! I don’t care how clueless a parent is, they fucking notice when the child that travels everywhere with them is a jewel thief. The complete lack of Kid Flash, Solstice, Bunker, and Skitter (who hasn’t been seen at all in months) in this issue didn’t help. No, sure, send the wannabe love triangle off on a mission alone with only one person with powers, I’m sure that’s gonna work out fine.

Okay, this is important. Past this point, there are going to be major spoilers for this new issue of Flash. Ready? Let’s go.

I have one thing to say about this month’s issue of the Flash:
It’s not Axel.
Behold, Axel as he appeared in issue #12:

And this is the Trickster that appeared in Flash #13:

Observe. In #12, Axel has longer hair, those ridiculous Liefeld shoulder pouches for his T-bombs, a symbol on his belt, yellow and blue plaid pants, and long blue gloves. He is not wearing an overshirt. His mask also connects in the middle. The Trickster in #13 is lacking the shoulder pouches, wearing striped pants, no symbol on his belt, has an overshirt, has much shorter hair, and his mask doesn’t connect.
We’ve been duped, folks. Unless this is an enormous oversight in costume continuity, Axel dressed up a pal of his in a similar costume and sent him to play nice with the monkeys.
Meanwhile, the gorillas have speed! Kind of. Their speed is definitely enhanced to the point where it’s hard for Barry to fight them. Actually, the Rogues are probably more suited to this task than he is, as they’ve been fighting a speedster for years. Speaking of, I like how Marco is sort of the moral compass of the Rogues. He was the first to object to just leaving Barry there to fight alone, and seemed perfectly willing to stay and fight by his side. By the way, I’m now officially 80% certain that Captain Daryl Frye is Barry’s real father. I mean, you don’t keep a picture of just anyone’s dead wife/mother in your office, unless you made something with her that’s still around.

That was this week in comics. If you didn’t see it yet, A-Babies versus X-Babies also came out today, and it is adorable. I’m Touch of Grey, and if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my room with a nice glass of denial rum.

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Zero Month ends not with a whimper…but with a lightning crash!

Welcome to the final week of zero month! We’ve got a pretty small haul today, only four books, but I’m very excited about, er, two of them! Let’s just dive on in!

Excuse me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the origin of Batman Inc the entire Batman Inc series from before the reboot? Because, wow, yeah, this entire issue read like Batman Inc: The Director’s Cut. I like how Morrison made sure to let us know that the Black Glove storyline is still apparently canon, though, minus Tim Drake as Robin, if Lobdell is to be believed. Nightrunner made it into the New 52! And Dark Ranger/Squire is a thing. These are both very good ideas, in my eyes. Let’s not lose them somewhere along the way.

Tim Drake: The best goddamn thing to ever happen to the DC universe at large, you betcha! Scott Lobdell, you are making me want to vomit. I just…Tim figured out Batman’s identity on his own because he figured out who Robin was, when Dick was Robin. He took it upon himself to seek out Bruce after Jason died, because Batman needs a Robin. He wasn’t too busy for his family, they were too busy for him…until a tragic accident that left his mother dead and his father in a wheelchair. This is Tim Drake’s secret origin. He’s a smart kid whose boner for Batman got a little too hard to hide, so he pretty much forced his way into the Robin suit. Oh, I’m sorry, the Red Robin suit. Which is basically just the OYL, “these are his colors” Robin suit. So. His parents are in the Witness Protection Program, and he’s been adoptedish into the Batman family. Which means that “Tim Drake” probably isn’t even his real name. Oh, by the way, I’m going to pull something straight from the DC website: ” Plus: The beginnings of Skitter and Bunker.” They got one panel. One panel, which they shared, on the second to last page of the book. Lobdell, you’re fired. I’m firing you. Someone get Chuck Dixon on the line, we’ve got a lot of backtracking to do.

I’ve loved every issue of National Comics I’ve read, so far. Eternity was a new take on a character I knew and loved. Looker was a, pardon the pun, look into a character I’d never heard of, but liked anyway. Rose and Thorn, however, I knew pretty well, but didn’t always like. The original Thorn was a woman named Rose Canton, who was the first wife of Alan Scott and mother of his two children, Jenny-Lynn and Todd. She was actually a Golden Age Flash villain, which was pretty cool, and reading those stories was how I got to know her. I liked that version of Rose and Thorn, even though Rose ended up committing suicide so that Thorn couldn’t hurt anyone else. The most recent version of Rose and Thorn, pre-reboot, was a woman named Rhosyn Forrest, who developed a split personality in order to avenge her father’s murder. I dunno, I was more fond of the villain persona, myself. Then again, I also liked the Daredevil villain, Bloody Mary, so don’t judge me. This new version of Rose and Thorn seems like a combination of the first two. It’s Rose Canton again, but she’s after her father’s killer, like Rose Forrest was. This issue was really pushing the T rating it was given, pushing it as far as it would go. I wouldn’t personally recommend giving it to someone under 16, or anyone who is triggered by blood. All in all, it was a good issue in a good series, and I’d be very happy to see Rose and Thorn become an ongoing book.

I have exactly one complaint about Flash #0, and that is the use of the surname ‘West’ for the first criminal Flash catches. That’s not cool, Manapul. Not cool at all. In other news, I think Barry Allen is illegitimate. I mean, his mom is a redhead and his dad has dark hair, meanwhile, the “friend” of his mother’s that takes him in after her murder is blonde with blue eyes. I’m actually more invested in the secret life of Nora Allen than the story everyone knows. Lightning strikes through chemicals, hits a police scientist. Barry Allen becomes the fastest man alive. It’s a great story, a classic story. There’s no need to change it, because it’s perfect the way it is. Though, the fact that the Johns-created idea that Nora Allen was murdered during Barry’s childhood was a holdover from the DCU, it irks me. Because what’s the point? Why does Barry Allen need the same dead parent backstory that Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Hal Jordan, Arthur Curry, and countless other major characters within the DCU have? Sigh. Still, the origin of the Flash suit is awesome, both visually and in explanation, and it’s nice to see that a story with just Barry can still keep my attention. I feel justified in saving this comic for last, because it’s definitely the best one I’ve read this week.

And that was September! If you’ll excuse me, American Vampire volume 4 (as well as issues 28-31) are calling to me. Be sure to come back next week, because I’ll be tackling the newest issues of Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Green Lantern, and Earth-2!

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Have Rogues, will travel.

Should I feel sad that there are only three books this week? Maybe, but one of those books is Flash, so allow me to show you all the fucks I do not give. In any case, aside from Flash, we’ve got Batman Inc and Teen Titans, and at least one of those is going to drive me into a frothing rage, so let’s get on with the madness, already.

They pushed the third issue of Batman Inc back a month after the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Why? Well, the teacher all but threatening a classroom full of kids on the first page may have had something to do with it. Other disturbing imagery, such as a man being asphyxiated via a plastic bag and what appeared to be two children being hung may have also added to it. Don’t want anything freaky being attached to the sacred Batman name, right? Ha. In any case, I don’t think I’ll be reviewing this issue. Instead, I’m going to take another shot at the reboot. Last week, I talked about how, instead of doing a hard reboot, like they’d done with the Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman franchises, Green Lantern and Batman remained relatively untouched. Seeing as this new Batman Inc is basically a direct continuation of the last Batman Inc series, and stuff from several years ago, such as Ventriloquist having Matches Malone killed, is still canon, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that only Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake were touched at all. Why? Why do this, DC? Batman and Green Lantern have the two most needlessly complicated continuities ever. Y’all had the chance to simplify, and you chose to complicate. For shame. Actually, now that I think about it I will say something about this issue of Batman Inc, and that is this: Damian Wayne is an adorable little brat. He’s taken on a new identity, Redbird. For those of you not in the know, Tim Drake’s old car when he was Robin was called the Redbird. You’ll also notice that Damian uses escrima sticks, the nonlethal weapon of choice of his mentor, Dick Grayson. He took things from two previous Robins to make his new role. Precious baby.

Oh my god, Cassie. You…I don’t understand you. One minute, you’re glad to be free of the Silent Armor, the next, you’re all pissed off that your ex stole it from you, because you have to wear it. And then the underlying narrative about Tim and Kon both having a thing for her…ladies please. She’s her own woman, and your supposed friend. Focus on saving her life before you argue over her like she’s a particularly tasty piece of cake. Meanwhile, over in the Kid Flash backup, dinosaurs! Seriously, that’s it. A little dinosaur fight scene, a part about Steg and Dax mutating snakes, a quip from Bart, the end. It’s five pages long. I can’t in good conscience call it a true backup. I mean, c’mon now.

I’m gonna die I’m gonna die I’m gonna die oh my god my babies.
Ahem.
I’m trying to not have an epic freakout here, to be clear, concise, and informative regarding this issue of the Flash, but my babies are all suited up and back in action. Piper’s got his best costume yet on, zipping around the city on a motorcycle stopping his former comrades, catching Len before he’s smashed into Len-paste, Axel’s officially Trickster, Lisa is a freaking babe, Mark is basically the same as ever with a beard, Mirror Master may be Sam Scudder, and aaaaah I can’t.
I’ll try. I must.
I can’t.
I’m a Rogues fan through and through. I’ve enjoyed the non-Rogue issues of the Flash in the New 52, but my god. Putting them in is like adding chocolate chips to banana bread. The bread tastes great on its own, but it’s only when you add that little extra zing that you realize just how much better it could be.

That was this week in comics. To all Floridians, we’ll be having a hurricane this Friday, so do try to prepare. It’s only a category one, but you never know. See y’all next week for Justice League, Minutemen, and several annuals, including the continuation of this week’s Flash!

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What’s red and yellow and awesome all over?

It’s the last Wednesday of the month! With only four books on the menu, as usual, I know I should feel sad. But I can’t be sad. Because it’s new Flash day. This is a big deal, for me. It’s one of the few books that produces next to no rage from me, and I won’t let the fact that Teen Titans also comes out this week spoil it for me.

On a completely different note, Green Lantern! It looks like the main character status will be switching from Sinestro to Hal, which means that my enjoyment of this book will soon be impacted. But for now, I’m going to let the good times roll. Black Lanterns are a thing again! Which means that the reboot didn’t affect Blackest Night or, I’m assuming, Brightest Day. Crisis on Infinite Earths never happened, but Rainbow Lanterns Go did. Take a minute to digest that. My bitching aside, it’s nice to see William Hand back in print. He’s one of those classically creepy as fuck characters who, under Geoff Johns’ pen, has evolved into a nightmare of humanity that literally makes my skin crawl. His goal for the duration of this story, if not his new mission in unlife, is to kill people. He is going to kill lots of people, reanimate them, and have them kill other people. That’s his whole thing. Well, good to know that his time wearing an Indigo ring did absolutely nothing to impact his personality, which is the entire reason the rings exist in the first place.

Okay, before I say anything else, weren’t these guys on an island? Where is the island? A Bart solo story will be taking place on the island in DC Universe Presents next month, you’d think they’d still be on the damn island. Oh wait, no, Danny the Street transported them back home last issue in an act that was so completely last minute, I forgot it even happened. Sigh. Anyway, this time on Teen Titans, complete fucking insanity. No, I’m serious. Bart, Miguel, and Kiran fight a new potential teammate Miguel picked up on ‘Gregslist’ (one guess as to what that is parodying), Cassie’s evil ex is honing in on her armor, Kiran and Bart are ‘just friends’ in love, and Cassie’s armor is freaking out, causing her to lose control on it and go evil. There. That’s the entire issue in a sentence. I don’t know if I can do this anymore. I know I’ve likened Teen Titans to an abusive partner before, but this is getting ridiculous. It’s wounding me on a spiritual level, now. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

A little history for you. Kid Eternity, in his original incarnation, was a child who had died 75 years too early. So, he was returned to life as an agent of Chaos and given the power to bring back dead people, who helped him fight bullies and stuff that a kid would use the ghosts of famous people for. His next incarnation, a Vertigo series, had the Kid using his powers to locate the next Dalai Lama. The most recent version of Kid Eternity was cheated of his full potential, big time. He still had the power to bring back the dead, but this time, he became them for only a few minutes at a time. He was also eventually murdered by the Calculator, who used him and his power to bring back his son, Marvin. Another thing, Kid’s real name was Kit, short for Christopher Freeman, and he was the long lost brother of Freddy Freeman, aka Captain Marvel Junior. With the way Freddy is in the reboot, I really don’t think I want to see them interact. But to the story!
The reboot version of Kid Eternity isn’t much of a kid at all…in fact, he’s 27, and he works as a police coroner. He and his father were both shot in a drive-by, but Chris came back, and now he has the power to bring back the recently deceased to try and solve their murders. An interesting origin to start with, and certainly a lot cooler than a guy who runs around bringing back dead superheroes and fighting crime. Our story follows an ordinary day in the life of Christopher, as he solves the murder of an antique shop owner. I’m not going to ruin the mystery for you if you haven’t read it, because the story is really quite good. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s penned by Jeff Lemire, after all! Sorry, I’ve had a ridiculous respect for this man ever since I first read Sweet Tooth, and his work with Animal Man hasn’t helped my hero worship boner at all. Cully Hamner and Derec Donovan are on the art. You may remember Hamner from the latter half of the 06 Blue Beetle series, and The Question: Pipeline, as well as a few issues of the recent Shade series. Derec Donovan’s most notable DC storyline, to my knowledge, was Connor Hawke: Dragon’s Blood. Either way, they’re great artists working with an amazing writer. The National Comics initiative is going to feature one new character a month, and while this is the first we’ve seen of Eternity, I’m crossing my fingers that it isn’t going to be the last.

I’m going to admit this right off the bat: While I’m not crazy about Mick Rory’s costume change and new powers, I never actually cared enough about him in the first place to be extremely mad about it. Not that Heatwave is my least favorite Rogue, that honor goes to Girder, he’s just never been that high on my priority scale. To the issue! One thing that was never really addressed in Wally’s series, that I can remember, was where the criminal element hung out. Keystone City had its share of Rogues, but it also seemed like a generally clean place full of hard-working people. In this issue, however, we’re introduced to the rougher side of the city, ‘the Keys’, which is supposedly as bad a place to live as Crime Alley in Gotham. Well, at least we’re still keeping to the trend of having all of our criminals in one basket. Another thing that seems to be a holdover from the past, Len is terrible with women. I mean, wow. That pick up line? I love Captain Cold, and even I would have slapped him. A break in the story to check in on Patty, David, and Dr. Elias. Patty and David, you guys should be friends. I mean, you’re dealing with similar things. Patty believes the man she loves to be dead, and the man David loves has gone back to being a vigilante, against his wishes. Oh gosh, please don’t let them have broken up over this, that would be really tragic. Can I take a second to say that Marcus To should draw David forever? Because my god, even in the throes of anger and quiet heartbreak, that is one beautiful man. Dr. Elias, however, is turning into a bit of a scumbag. Invented a new energy source, huh? How about you tell the people where that sudden spark of brilliance came from? Were you quick to find it? Did it come to you in a flash? What I’m trying to say here is, stop being a douche and blaming things on the Flash, when it was his power that actually solved all your problems to begin with. You folks remember from last issue, how Barry decided that he was going to stay dead? Well, he’s going by Al now, and he’s the newest bartender at a villain hotspot called the Keystone Saloon, which looks like it’s the oldest bar in the damn country. Oh my. Marcus To, you also have my permission to draw Len forever, too. Pfft, oh lord. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with terrible literature, there’s this new mom porn book that’s been going around called 50 Shades of Grey. Len likes alluding to shades of gray in the world of vigilantism and villainy, as seen here:

Image

And now, here:

Image

 

(Flash fact: I went to Tumblr hoping to find a scan of that panel in the Len Snart tag, and it was literally at the top of my Dashboard. The Rogues fandom is the best fandom.)

Anyway, shortly after Barry has the main bartender in charge fix Len a drink that won’t freeze up on him (complete with a pink umbrella, naturally), all hell breaks loose in the form of Mick. Heh. I like how Manapul took a page from the fans and had Barry call the fight between Len and Mick a ‘domestic dispute’. Because they’re like an old married couple, get it?! Sorry, I’ll take the bad jokes and puns and just…no, I’m not going to go anywhere. Puns are half of the reason why the Rogues are so dear to my heart. Hell, Mick started the issue off with a pun! Anyway, one fight scene full of vague exposition later, Barry has decided to keep his bartender gig, and our boys are being hauled away in a paddywagon. Argue argue, snipe snipe…Lisa?! Damn, girl! I’m going to be honest again, I’ve never been fond of Lisa’s old costume. This new one reminds me of a combination of Marvel costumes, truthfully; 80s Dazzler, Wind Dancer from the New Xmen, and Emma Frost, when she puts on clothes. An odd combination, but I do like it. And boy oh boy can the next issue not come soon enough! I’ve been dying to learn how Lisa got her new powers since images of her in her new costume were leaked.

Well, that was this week in comics! I’m thoroughly pleased with everything I’ve read, how about you? As always, I’d really love to hear your personal opinions about the books you picked up. Didn’t read something that was reviewed here? Tell me about it! I’m always looking for new books! As with every week, I am Touch of Grey. Hope to see you back here next Wednesday!

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Maybe I could call this Speedster Week?

I don’t know what to say, other than that it’s the final week of the month. We’re getting a new issue of the Flash, but I also have to look at Teen Titans and Justice League, so this bag isn’t quite as awesome as it could have been. Let’s jump right in!

Batman Incorporated has done something odd, for the New 52. It has shown a woman, given her power, and allowed her to keep it. I am talking, of course, about Talia Al Ghul. The daughter of the Demon’s Head has been a character that most people I know have mixed feelings on. For one thing, her very role in the Batman mythos has been retconned and diminished to that of ‘Bruce’s psycho ex’ for so long, people tend to forget that there was a time before all of that. A time when the only thing standing between Talia and Bruce’s happy ending was Bruce’s lifelong mission to eradicate crime in Gotham. True story. So to see the entire history of their relationship, as well as Talia’s life story, spelled out over the course of a single issue…well, let me put it this way. While the rape retcon still stands, it’s been sort of…diminished? It was less of a “We had sex while you were drugged totally against your will” thing and more of a “We consummated our relationship that had been a long time coming after I drugged you so that you’d knock me up by accident.” thing. Not exactly good, but better than the idea that Talia had completely forced her sexual will on Bruce. So yeah! Talia issue! This was scads better than the first issue, especially since it revealed that Damian was not actually dead.

I’ve chosen to mostly opt out of reading the Before Watchmen mini-series’, mainly because I’m not the biggest fan of the source material. I’ve read it. I thought it was okay. But I’m not one of those people who would defend Watchmen to the death. It had plenty of glaring flaws, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Of all the characters in Watchmen, Nite Owl was probably one of my favorites. It didn’t hurt that the character himself was based off of the Blue Beetle, or that of all the players in this game, Dan Dreiberg seemed the most human. We learned a little about Dan within the book itself, but the Nite Owl mini is…different. It deals with the early days. The earliest days. So far, we’ve learned that not only did Dan take over for Hollis Mason, he was trained by him. We also get our first real look at Rorschach before his life completely went to hell, which was fun. Plus, a nice little bit of foreshadowing about just how much Dr. Manhattan is able to warp time and space. All in all, this wasn’t a bad first issue. I’d even go so far as to say that I liked it.

I only read New Guardians because I love Saint Walker. There, I said it. It would not hold my interest without him. That being said, I believe I’ll be dropping New Guardians after this month’s second fight scene issue in a row. Give me some exposition. Gimme some sweet, sweet backstory regarding the newer Blue Lanterns. Give me anything but…this.

Someone explain Justice League to me. Please. Please? I have no idea what happened this month. There was talking, random panels of a deathly ill man talking to ghosts, and then everyone fell down. There was also a bit of Hal being a douche and Barry being Barry. And then it ended and the second feature started. So…what happened? I have no idea. And you know what? I really don’t care. I don’t care about you, Justice League. I don’t care about you, Shazam second feature. You’ve not done anything to make me care about you, so I’m just not going to, and that’s that.

I rarely have positive things to say about Teen Titans, and this month isn’t really all that different. It’s about as disjointed as Justice League. Yet, this is supposed to be a cooldown issue, which makes the title completely misleading. I mean, why would you even put that on the cover? “In a race to extinction”, superimposed over an image of two teenagers smiling and having fun. What? Why? In case anyone was wondering, Bart/Kiran is officially a thing now. I’m going to set up a countdown clock until Miguel/Tim is canon, because geeze. If Solstice ends up being the Angst and the Love Interest combined, I’m going to cry. Gosh, I’m trying to think up constructive things to say and I just can’t. Sorry, Teen Titans. I’ve failed you.

I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to, and dreaded, a comic as much as I have in regards to Flash #10. I probably haven’t talked much about my love of the Rogues on here, but oh gosh do I adore them. And Weather Wizard is my third favorite, after Mirror Master and Captain Cold. I’ve been making fun of Mark Mardon’s makeover since images of it were first released, but I don’t know. Now that the issue is actually in my hands, I’m a little excited. Len may have gotten a metagene and a new wardrobe, but Mark is getting a new name, a new history, a new everything! Well, here goes nothing!
…Marcus To, let me love you. If the Manapul/To team becomes a regular thing, I may weep with joy. Oh, but yes, the story. It’s honestly not as bad as it could have been. Yes, Mark Mardon is a, a Guatemalan drug lord now. That’s his history. But when the truth about his brother’s murderer came to light, and the Flash single-handedly destroyed his entire stock of product, that seemed to mark the end of his time as a supplier. He’s going back to Central City, along with…Lisa?! Lisa, girl, your hair is insane. She’s got NTT Starfire hair! In any case, I’ve spent so much time focusing on the Rogues in this issue, I forgot all about the actual title character. Barry loves Patty. Patty loves Barry. Patty believes Barry to be dead. He’s not actually going to correct her on that, which means that Barry is going to be the Flash all the time now. Or maybe…what if he’s going to take on a new identity? I swear, if this is how they ‘bring Wally into the New 52’, I’m going to be so upset. In any case, this Rogue parade is just getting started. Next month: Heatwave!

And that was this week in comics! Due to a personal matter, this is actually coming to you on Thursday so, sorry. But before I forget…

Floridians! Florida Supercon is this weekend! Come meet Carmine Infantino, Kevin Maguire, and a whole host of other comic and screen legends!

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