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Comics. Have I mentioned comics at all? Or how there is so much of them? Well I do my best to talk about them. All so much of them. Enjoy that here.

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    Teen Titans #9

    Teen Titans: Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco, Ig Guara, JP Mayer, Andrew Dalhouse, Dezi Sienty, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund

    Oh man, FINALLY. The end of The Culling! And I say that not because I’m excited. I say that because I can’t wait to get past this ugly mess.

    Speaking of ugly, Guara’s still on-duty for this issue while Booth handled the Annual. I’m just not a big fan of this representation with the characters. They have awkward proportions and look like none of them are wearing underwear. It’s the whole no-belts thing, I think…which isn’t necessarily Guara’s fault. But it’s just odd. Other artists don’t make these characters look strange without belts…so maybe some of it is because of Guara.

    Speaking of more ugly, I hate Harvest. He just might be the worst villain of the whole New 52. And it’s really a shame because what a concept! What a great idea for a villain! A dude who kidnaps superpowered teens and makes them fight to the death to earn the right to fight for him!

    Here’s the problem(s): We never learn WHY he needs his Ravagers to fight for him. Who will they be fighting? Why? What are they fighting for? It’s fairly obvious they’re to be an “evil” team, but is it a misunderstood thing? Like stealing to feed your family? Also, Harvest is way too powerful! Right on the first page here, he says he was able to beat the strongest of them with “a shrug of [his] shoulders.” So…why does he NEED Ravagers? What’s his motive? It would make more sense if he just wanted to kill all the superpowered teens in a cruel, sadistic, voyeuristic way. But instead he needs a team to do his bidding? What is he, agoraphobic?

    Every single page is full of drawn-out, lengthy dialog that’s just god-awful. I seriously hurt my brain reading through it all. Here’s Red Robin, literally: “No sane person could think it was a good idea to pluck teenagers from across the globe — meta or otherwise — and set them against each other in a battle royal where the survivors are forced to serve your insane cause as Ravagers!”

    That’s…what is…NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT!! Is it supposed to sound proper and well-enunciated? Because, yeah, Tim’s a smart kid, but not even HE talks like that! It’s so expository! It’s so LONG! Why isn’t Harvest blinking him out of existence Rorschach-style-at-the-end-of-Watchmen while he’s yakking away? WTH?!

    In this issue, Harvest FINALLY reveals his purpose, his goal in all of this. Again, as I’ve said before, everything was going “according to plan,” which is another reason he’s the worst villain ever. A villain in complete control of everything that happens is not exciting (Palpatine). A villain that is capable of losing control and becoming extremely frustrated is much more interesting. That makes them fallible and vulnerable.

    Harvest was hoping that the Titans would help the children in the Crucible escape to all over the world so that they could, quote, “[create] fear, chaos and confusion in their wake,” and get the public to cry out for a controlling organization like NOWHERE. …Are you kidding me? So Harvest expects the average Joe public to follow a monster who looks like HIM?! Don’t think so.

    You know what I realized at one point, reading through this? It feels like a video game. A poorly written video game, but a video game nonetheless. It’s like…the Titans did all their work together, took down and recruited Superboy, infiltrated NOWHERE, got into the Culling, teamed up with the Legion, defeated the Ravagers…and here’s the FINAL LEVEL BOSS!!! Harvest!! The most powerful mofo in the universe!!

    Lame.

    I don’t want to read a video game. I have video games I can play for that. I want to read good, involved, complex stories about the Teen Titans. We were getting some exciting seeds planted in the first few issues with Lobdell…but this whole Culling thing was just a complete bust. And it feels like nearly a year was wasted on this title. A YEAR. Nobody thinks of it like that, I think. It’s always, “oh well that’s just 12 issues.”

    No, it’s a full, stinking year.

    Teen Titans #9, the verdict: A severely disappointing end to a frustrating chapter in the Teen Titans annals. I’ve been looking forward to this event, thinking it was going to be epic and awesome. I didn’t think it’d be 90s action movie epic. Which is to say…terrible. Kids, little kids, will probably love this book. Because that’s the target audience for those terrible 90s action movies. I’m talking “Surf Ninjas,” and “Masters of the Universe.” Hell, Harvest does kind of seem like a mix between Skeletor and Leslie Nielsen’s metal-faced villain in “Surf Ninjas.” I think I just unlocked the inspiration to this story arc. If I didn’t know Lobdell and Booth were coming back next issue, I’d be dropping this book, sadly.

    (Photo Source: Newsarama)

    — 1 year ago
    #DC Comics  #DC  #New 52  #Teen Titans  #Scott Lobdell  #Tom DeFalco  #Ig Guara  #JP Mayer  #Andrew Dalhouse  #Dezi Sienty  #Brett Booth  #Norm Rapmund  #issue 9 
    Teen Titans #8

    Teen Titans: Scott Lobdell, Ig Guara, JP Mayer, Andrew Dalhouse, Lee Loughridge, Dezi Sienty, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund

    (I’m going to try breaking up this post to see if spacing it helps any)

    A couple things we notice right away with this issue: first, WHOA ARTIST CHANGE! And second, OMEN!!! I’ll get to Omen in a bit. First, Guara. I liked Ig’s work on Blue Beetle. I think he’s great for that style and making Jaime look realistic and quite human, “normal” even. Not some crazy super-powerful, ultra-muscular mega hero. While it’s a neat change to see the same kind of rendition here with the Titans, I feel like the style is wasted somewhat because some of these heroes ARE bred to be strong, and really fit.

    Tim Drake was trained by Batman to an Olympian physicality. Bart moves at super speed, and runs everywhere…it should show. Wonder Girl, while we don’t know how related to the Amazons she is, has always been a really strong character, yet here in some panels she appears flabby or awkward in her costume. Certain characters just look weird in this style.

    Now, for Omen. I’m really excited to see her back in the DCnU. Only now she’s a villain working for Harvest! She looks wicked, too. I love her look and style. And she can warp reality, which is new as well. She’s still called Lilith, as well, and Celeste apparently knows this, and is aware that there’s more to her bug-like alter-ego than could ever have been anticipated. With the Skitter personality removed, I’m suddenly wondering if she’s a hybrid species like Voodoo and the Daemonites.

    I think this issue suffers in two areas especially. It’s very wordy. The dialog, I mean. Characters are spewing words and words when they literally have no time to do so in between the quick-paced actions we see in the panels. For example, Bart carrying Bunker and Solstice into the middle of a huge group of the Vanguard army. Solstice lists off this flavorful description of who they are, while dropping a hint at the Ravagers, and meanwhile…I think the Vanguard would have opened fire in an instant, especially if they’re as dangerous as Solstice says.

    The other area is with Omen’s reality manipulation. Apparently, there’s all these hallucinations going on with each member of the team. We’re made to believe that, after Omen’s done with them, they go on and try to work out how to get out and everything, but then…at the end…everything turns out to have been a big hallucination of Omen’s. So…what of what we saw was real, and what wasn’t? I still don’t understand it all, and I’ve read the issue several times.

    Teen Titans #8, the verdict: I think this was the weakest issue so far. Which is really disappointing, given some of the content. The introduction of Omen is a VERY welcome surprise, and her hallucinations are brutal. Tim’s transformation. Bart’s contribution to the apparent deaths of Kiran and Miguel. I really hope we get to see a lot more of Omen in the future, and how about some more involvement with Superboy? I mean…he’s on most of the covers…. The Culling is coming up, the big huge crossover, and the Annual is actually really exciting. (Spoiler alert, The Culling turned out shabby)

    (Photo Source: Comic Vine)

    — 2 years ago with 1 note
    #DC Comics  #DC  #New 52  #Teen Titans  #Scott Lobdell  #Ig Guara  #JP Mayer  #Andrew Dalhouse  #Lee Loughridge  #Dezi Sienty  #Brett Booth  #Norm Rapmund  #issue 8 
    Blue Beetle #5

    Blue Beetle: Tony Bedard, Ig Guara, JP Mayer, Pete Pantazis, Rob Leigh, Tyler Kirkham, Sal Regla, Hi-Fi

    I recently called this the little book that could. It’s trying so hard to climb that hill, to be that really great book that it wants to be. It has the elements it needs, I think, but it seems spread thin and all of those elements are all active at one time. I think various areas of focus are required to propel this book forward. For example, so far, we’ve had intimate focus on Jaime’s relationship with the suit…which is absolutely necessary for this book to succeed. And, thus, that part of the book is better. When the time was taken to improve that part, it has the strength to go forward. Think of it like training your Pokemon to beat the next gym leader…if the levels aren’t high enough, you won’t make it. This issue deals with a couple of things, thankfully, like Dona Cardenas and her quest to obtain the Blue Beetle scarab, and the Hive dudes that were coming to Earth to obtain their damaged scarab. It successfully removes the Hive dudes (not H.I.V.E.) from the equation for a while as they go to attempt an invasion on planet Odym (Blue Lanterns)…so that’s one less thing we have to worry about. Unfortunately, the book does introduce one other new thing to the story…but thank goodness it’s something good. Let’s just say Jaime’s attempt to save his best friend totally backfires. I’m very excited about this development, and this is the kind of addition that this book needs to heighten it to the level at which it wants to be. The confrontation between Jaime and Dona Cardenas was entertaining and offered an interesting and crucial development to that part of the story - while also removing it from out attention for a while. So it looks like we have the robot gorilla and the new Paco development to worry about in the immediate future. Which is good…because those were the best parts. Further, I have to commend Guara’s art in this issue…it’s outstanding. I’m noticing it more so in this issue than I have before. I don’t know what exactly it is, but Jaime’s face is just so much more…Jaime than it has been, if that makes any sense. I think there’s been a huge improvement on the facial art in this issue…or maybe I’m imagining things. Either way, great job. 

    Blue Beetle #5, the verdict: It looks like we’re seeing a definite attempt from the creative team to make an interesting and compelling book. The stabbing of Paco was an excellent shock, and I love how it’s already turning out. This is going to make for some epicness soon. Though I still don’t think it’s totally there. It’s just good. It doesn’t have me jumping up and down like other books do. If this book were canceled, I’d only be sad because it’s a DC book that’s being canceled…not because I’m in love with the book. Keep up with the great relationship we’re seeing between Jaime and the suit, and let’s develop the Brenda character more…and I think we may have something here. 

    (Photo Source: DC Collectors)

    — 2 years ago
    #DC Comics  #DC  #New 52  #Blue Beetle  #Tony Bedard  #Ig Guara  #JP Mayer  #Pete Pantazis  #Rob Leigh  #Tyler Kirkham  #Sal Regla  #Hi-Fi  #issue 5 
    Blue Beetle #4

    Blue Beetle: Tony Bedard, Ig Guara, JP Mayer, Pete Pantazis, Rob Leigh, Tyler Kirkham, Sal Regla, Hi-Fi

    Oh goodness gracious, we finally have a really interesting issue of Blue Beetle! I was really afraid that this wasn’t going to go anywhere I wanted to see. However, there are several very surprising things about this issue. The interactions between Jaime and the “bugsuit” (as he’s calling it) are becoming more placable, and they’re starting to understand each other. And I really mean starting, because they’re still not even on a quarter of the page together. But I really can foresee their relationship growing into something much more mutually beneficial…though after the events in this issue (especially that INCREDIBLE last page!) I really think everything’s about to take a huge step backward. This is the kind of thing I want. The thing isn’t supposed to be easy…though I did want the bugsuit to obey Jaime more in such a way to lull him into a false sense of security. Quite the opposite, though. Things are getting much worse as his parents now think Jaime has a blue tattoo on his back, he’s starting to involuntarily transform in school, and there are supervillains that are after him and would rather see his head on a stick. Normal high school problems, you know? I have to really like how Silverback and his thugs took out the Chuco-Thirteen gang. That was unexpected, but it was fun to read. The action and the violence in this world is really amping up here, and we’re starting to see some things that are going to lead to some serious consequences later. I’m interested to see how Jaime is going to deal with everything.

    Blue Beetle #4, the verdict: I was starting to think this series wasn’t going to deliver the punches that Blue Beetle could handle, and it was a little too jumpy in terms of showing us one thing, and then switching to something else. It’s only just now starting to look like a book with a single, coherent story. We’ve seen a lot of different characters so far, and we’ve seen a bunch of them disappear now in this issue. I’m really liking how that’s happened…because it’s allowed the book to really focus on the main character, Jaime. Here’s hoping we go forward like that.

    — 2 years ago with 2 notes
    #Blue Beetle  #DC  #DC Comics  #Hi-Fi  #Ig Guara  #JP Mayer  #New 52  #Pete Pantazis  #Rob Leigh  #Sal Regla  #Tony Bedard  #Tyler Kirkham  #somuchcomics  #issue 4 
    Nightwing #3

    Nightwing: Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows, Eduardo Pansica, JP Mayer, Paulo Siqueira, Eber Ferreira, Rod Reis, Allen Passalaqua, Carlos M. Mangual

    Wow there is a literal army of staff on this issue, between pencils, inks, and colors. Luckily, it doesn’t detract from the content. I have to say that I love seeing this young Dick Grayson in all these flashbacks. We’ve seen a few now, including the one from Batgirl. They’re always pretty amusing, and - in this case - it sets up for later in this issue. We’re also getting a good timeline constructed here. The flashback we see here is “five years ago,” which is when Justice League is taking place. So we can see that Dick is not yet Batman’s first Robin, he’s still with the circus. It’s nice to have establishing timelines. I really enjoyed the involvement of Zane here in this comic. Nightwing is experiencing a lot of his past coming back to him in this series - whether that past is here to haunt him or help him…we’ve yet to see really. Zane here seems like it could haunt him…and they even have an altercation, but things tend to work out a little bit. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him yet. I like the visual of Dick in his Robin costume here. I like the green shoulders and he has pants and real boots. It fits with Batman’s “armor-plated” costume update. I never understood Robin’s original costume and how it was supposed to keep him safe while fighting crime. Sure, Batman’s costume got updates with kevlar and nomex stuff and all that throughout the years - and Tim’s Robin costume was updated - but Dick’s never did, what with flashbacks and all that. Finally, we’re seeing this update. We’re seeing a costume that is designed to keep the wearer safe. With seeing this image of Dick as Robin, though, here’s my question: what’s happening in this vision? He’s obviously not crying for his parents…because Dick wasn’t Robin when his parents died. So what happened? I’m curious to find out. The art here is outstanding, as normal. I keep saying how I think Barrows really understands the human form, and the various acrobatic positions we find Dick in. I love seeing the “motion” drawings, where we see a sequence of movements all in one panel. It’s so much fun imagining the entire fluid movement as I read. I normally spend a good few minutes on these, they’re a treat. The story so far has been interesting, but in this issue I felt a little bit removed from what’s been happening. I understand what Dick is doing and all, what with trying to follow a potential lead with who may have hired Saiko, the assassin. It was fun going on the adventure, and we link Dick back to his past with the circus, but it led nowhere…and we find out exactly who hired Saiko in the end. What I don’t understand now is…this guy’s motive. The hirer’s, not Saiko’s. I thought Saiko was after Dick Grayson because he’s “the most dangerous man alive,” or some schpeel. But that doesn’t seem logical at all considering who this man is and how he’s connected to Dick. I’m just confused.

    Nightwing #3, the verdict: I’m on-board with this book. I really do like this series. Dick is a deep, complex character who can be totally amusing and completely serious at the same time. I love how he interacts with other characters. I like this plot with him being involved again in Haly’s Circus. Part of me really wants Dick to stick with it as a day job. That would open up the book to all kinds of great story potential. While I’m now concerned about the true motives of the person who hired Saiko, and why Saiko says Dick is the most dangerous man alive, I’m invested enough to want to find out what’s going on. The art is still astounding, with those poses really highlighting Dick’s history with the circus. He’s pulling stuff that we’ve yet to see Jason, Tim, or Damian do in their own titles. And rightfully so. They’re not as acrobatic. I’d say Damian would be next in terms of agility and maneuverability. And it’s probably a tie between Jason and Tim. They’ve both received excellent teachings from different sources. Nightwing is proving to be a really interesting, engaging, and deep book. And I don’t even like the character.

    — 2 years ago with 3 notes
    #Allen Passalaqua  #Carlos M. Mangual  #DC  #DC Comics  #Eber Ferreira  #Eddy Barrows  #Eduardo Pansica  #JP Mayer  #Kyle Higgins  #New 52  #Nightwing  #Paulo Siqueira  #Rod Reis  #issue 3  #somuchcomics