Sunday, May 25, 2008

DC Capsule Reviews Week 18 2008

What? No more Countdown issues this week? What am I going to bitch about now? A fast and fun 'acne' week with four (count'em FOUR) Teen Titans family titles, three (3!) Legion of Super-Heroes spottings and a look at teen Green Lantern origins!


(Geoff Johns & Grant Morrison/ various)


(Geoff Johns / Joe Prado)

Remember how we were told DC Universe #0 was designed to be the bridge between Countdown to Final Crisis (what a misnomer in the end) and the actual Final Crisis. Why does it now read suspiciously like a collection of trailers for each of the upcoming Final Crisis-related projects while making no mention at all of the Countdown dangling threads.

Even more puzzling, why does Action Comics #864, out the same week, actually fulfill all of DCU #0's promises in its place? Geoff Johns brings together every dangling plot line from the past year (the multiple Superman appearances in JSA/Countdown/Sinestro Corps; the crossovers with pre- and post- Waidvamp Legion in Brave&Bold, Action Comics and JLA/JSA; the death of Karate Kid and Una; Starman's cryptic mission from JSA; the recent adult Legion story in Action Comics) and merges them together, revealing indeed (!) a greater plan and feeding all the storylines into the Johns' helmed 'Legion of Three Worlds' Final Crisis tie-in.

All the while, he provides an entertaining rapport between Superman (who's reverting to a gleeful teenager as he reminisces with: ) Lightning Lad (who's visiting from the Legion's future and has a major dislike for: ) Batman (who is simply being Batman, and maybe a tad jealous that Clark has another super-buddy now).

In Geoff Johns we trust.


JSA CLASSIFIED #37 (Featuring Wildcat)

(B. Clay Moore / Ramon Perez)

'Forward Through The Past' part 3. Wildcat and Catwoman bust a mercenary/thug training club during their practical graduation exams. Heh. These two have great chemistry and this creative team feels more and more appropriate for the eventual Catwoman relaunch. For part 3 of a storyline, this issue is again surprisingly self-contained and new-reader-friendly, all the while laying the groundwork for the over-arching storyline involving a group of cat-nappers. Solid action, but still the spotlight is stolen by the brief flashbacks done in a fake pulp magazine scratched paper style.



(Sean McKeever / Carlos Rodriguez)

When McKeever announced he would be spotlighting each Titan in their own issue while building the larger Terror Titans attack story, this was the one I was dreading the most: the Miss Martian issue; arguably the dullest Teen Titan since the #1 relaunch, Megan Morse (fun fact: named after the girlfriend of Nexus founder Ben Morse, now an editor at peaked at the catchy-yet-unexplored revelation that she in fact a White (eeeevil) Martian masquerading as a benevolent Green one. There was no background information given, her personality remained harmlessly perky, and she formed no worthwhile relationships with anyone in the team.

Well ,thank **** for McKeever for stirring the pot here and bringing out her hidden potential by accentuating her inherent dichotomy: a nice girl battling her evil nature. Only now her evil nature has a face and voice inside her head: those of the future all-evil all-sociopath her from the previous storyline. Is she really merged with Megan. Has she just gone schizo? Megan is suddenly a pleasure to read and precious in all her reactions to Evil Megan's taunts (fluffy puppy attack? aww).

The pacing is exemplary, all individual spotlight stories neatly fitting together as the Terror Titans' plot comes together and the players start affecting each others' stories.



(Amy Wolfram / Karl Kerschl / Serge LaPointe)

A harmless done-in-one featuring the Teen Titans (minus fearless leader Robin) attending their first TV interview and getting ambushed by an unnamed Ant villain. Kid Flash attempts to grab the spotlight in Robin's absence (in an endearing teen jerk-wad way) but Wolfram decides to brush his aspirations away and return the spotlight to Boy Wonder saving the day and justifying his importance to the team. It's a cute story showcasing the two characters' differences. Amy Wolfram deserves her own ongoing Titans title (hint hint), while I surely wouldn't mind seeing the entire art team taking over McKeever's Teen Titans title. They have an amazing take on these teen characters.



(J. Torres / Ethen Beavers)

You can never have too many Wonder-Girls! Cassie Sandsmark makes her bratty animated debut in the tie-in title, crashing Donna Troy's (rather narcissistic) 'Who Will be the next Wonder-Girl' contest. Seriously, you just rig a contest you know you're gonna win just to show off? Ew. I can't stand this tall lanky version of Donna so I did root for the Cassie edition (adapted from her rag tag Young Justice origins than the current bitchy horny widow mode). As a whole the story didn't do too much, tackling too many things at once but not managing to wrap them all before the end; did Torres really just forget about the race half-way through the issue? What was the point of it? Why didn't he have Cassie show up earlier so we could see her compete with Donna? Wasted opportunity for a fun tale.



(Jai Nitz/Mike Norton)

Jamie toma a la novia Traci13 para encontrar a su familia. El problema no es ningunos de ellos habla una palabra de inglés y de nadie incomodada para proporcionar esos soportes convenientes de la traducción en la edición. Sí, la cubierta doesn' la mentira de t, ésta es una español-lengua all- cómica (español del bien, muy bien, cerca de 99%), siguiendo la barbacoa y una batalla contra Parásito (aún toda de la familia de la sorpresa en español). Ahora, sé solamente bastante español para entender 'hija' , 'novia' y 'el escarabajo azul'; la edición leyó tan rápidamente como un cómico silencioso confuso. A mi relevación había una guía completa de la traducción en la parte posterior de la edición que es aún más diversión a leer en sus los propios, como un cómico sin descripciones, las ilustraciones o narración, apenas diálogo, burla ingeniosa de la acción y los efectos sonoros. ¡Afilado amelocotonado!


(aaaaand translation: )


(Jai Nitz / Mike Norton)

Jamie takes girlfriend Traci13 to meet his family. Problem is none of them speak a word of english and noone bothered to provide those convenient translation brackets in the issue. Yes, the cover doesn't lie, this is an all- spanish-language comic (well, ok, about 99% spanish), followig the family barbeque and a surprise slugfest against Parasite (still all in spanish). Now, I know only enough Spanish to understand 'daughter', 'gilfriend' and 'el escarabajo azul' so the issue read fast like a confusing silent comic. To my relief there was a complete translation guide in the back of the issue which is even more fun to read on its own, like a comic with no descriptions, artwork or narration, just dialogue, witty action banter and sound effects. Peachy keen!


(pardon me the horrid Babelfish translation above)


(Geoff Johns / Ivan Reis)

Origins part 2.

The absolute jumping-on point for new Green Lantern fans. Johns retells the story of Hal Jordan discovering Abin Sur's crashed plane and donning the Green Lantern ring, infusing it with clues and hints for his overarching storyarc leading to 'the Blackest Night'. This story is easily turning me into a GL fan, and I'm impressed with the flawless pacing of the story, moving along like a traditional comics story, but still allowing time for a series of breath-taking splash pages at just the right moments to bring out the key moments of the mythos.



(Jim Shooter / Aaron Lopresti / Matt Ryan)

'Enemy Rising' part 2.

No glaring problems like last issue's, yet a sense of discomfort lingers as I make my way through this newest issue. Maybe it's average; maybe it feels like it doesn't really belong in 2008; maybe I can't find myself caring for the characters anymore; maybe there are way too many things happenning at the same time; maybe that misleading cover is just weak and pointless (really, is it a tribute? a gag?); maybe I still don't see the point in continuing the revamped title when the writer is clearly set on reverting everyone back to their original incarnations anyway. Maybe I won't even bother finishing this rev--


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