The Green Team #1
DC’s new companion comic for the crimefighting 99%-ers series “The Movement” is this story about crimefighting 1%-ers. It’s written by Art Baltazar and Franco, who are of course best known for their brilliant “Tiny Titans” series. So now we get to see how they do writing (but not drawing — Ig Guara handles the art chores) a more non-all-ages, mainstream superhero title.
We first meet up with Prince Mohammed Qahtanii, the son of one of the richest men on the planet. Mohammed wants to prove he’s fit to take over for his father by proving that he can increase the family’s wealth, so he’s traveled to New York City to meet the members of the Green Team — mega-wealthy teen technology fanatic Commodore (yeah, that’s his first name) Murphy, mega-wealthy teen actress Cecilia Sunbeam (and her pet wildcat Bubbles), mega-wealthy teen oil tycoon J.P. Houston, and his sister L.L. Houston. The Green Team runs periodic technology expos where genius inventors show off their newest gizmos and Comm gives them money to develop their tech into something he can use. Unfortunately, Mo tweets a pic of Comm, which alerts his many enemies to his location, and they all get attacked by a masked loon called Riot Act. Comm has a power suit he’s bought, but he really doesn’t know how to use it yet. Is the entire Green Team going to get wiped out in their first issue?
Verdict: Ehh, I dunno yet. It’s not particularly bad. But I’m not sure if there’s a real focus yet. They say money is the best superpower, but if that’s the case, these guys have kinda boring superpowers. Comm has his power suit, Mo has a bodyguard, Cecilia has a pet wildcat, and that’s really about it. There’s a heck of a lot of talking, a heck of a lot of people spending money on fancy inventions, but not a whole lot else. I’m sure we’ll see the characters, plotline, and focus develop some more over the next few issues, but I sure hope it doesn’t take too long to shake out.
Young Avengers #5
The whole team is in deep trouble, under attack by a bunch of shapeshifting New Yorkers being controlled by Mother, an interdimensional parasite who wants to eat all of the Young Avengers. Kid Loki has gotten access to Wiccan’s powers and promptly vanished, leaving Wiccan fearing that the only way to deprive Mother of her powers will be to kill himself. But has Loki really abandoned them? (And is Loki really Loki? I couldn’t really figure that part out.) Do they stand a chance of defeating Mother and her forces?
Verdict: Ehh, it’s alright, I guess. As good as the previous issues were, the conclusion of this initial storyarc ends up falling a bit flat. There’s no solid resolution — Mother is still out there and can reappear if any of the Young Avengers ever go near New York again. Even the humor and action kinda feel stifled.
Batman: Li’l Gotham #2
More completely ridiculous awesomeness from Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs. Batman and Nightwing spend Christmas rescuing a bunch of kids from Mr. Freeze, who is mostly motivated by a desire to keep the kids young and innocent forever. Can kindness win the day against the morose iceman? And on New Year’s Eve, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn recruit Catwoman to help them pull some socially relevant crimes, as well as some very socially irrelevant crimes…
Verdict: A very enthusiastic thumbs up. The cutest, cleverest Batman series you ever will see. Even Arkham Asylum looks adorable and cuddly. The stories are perfect for kids and adults alike, and you’ll really enjoy paying attention to all the funny details in the background.
Today’s Cool Links:
- Here’s a fantastic essay about challenging the role of women in history and narrative fiction.
- We should all read more stories by James Tiptree Jr./Alice Sheldon.
- Any time we talk about comics creators who got screwed by the publishers, the first name we think of should be Bill Finger.
- Wrong number? Or the rightest number?
- This kid is ready to play in the big leagues.