Archive for Teen Titans

Dead to Rights


Ghosted #20

Well, Jackson Winters is finally dead as a doornail. And Markus Schrecken forces Nina Bloodcrow to read from her blasphemous Book of the Dead, which turns her into a demonic monster and summons Death itself, so Markus can finally take the secrets of death for himself. Is there anyone left who can save the world?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Oh, I know, another really short description, ’cause there’s a nice twist early on, and then lots of excellent stuff that I don’t want to spoil. But the series ends absolutely wonderfully. It’s been a very fun story — and we close with a nice note from series creator Josh Williamson.


Daredevil #15.1

We get a pair of stories from Daredevil’s past in this issue. First, we learn how Matt Murdock learned how to reconcile apprehending criminals as Daredevil with defending them in court as an attorney. Essentially, he got assigned to the case by his old law firm when he was just a junior attorney and ordered to knuckle down and act like a real lawyer — figure out how to defend him no matter how you felt about him. In the second story, we learn about a time when Daredevil took on the extremely low-rent villain Diablo — and learned he’d actually figured out a way to make himself a threat, thanks to a street drug that painfully boosted all of his senses.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Two nice stories, excellent writing and art — it’s just an all-around cool comic, and if you’re not reading this series yet, it’s alright as a jumping-on point.


Convergence: The New Teen Titans #2

It’s the classic Teen Titans vs. the Tangent Universe’s Doom Patrol, with Cyborg’s life on the line — not to mention the fate of at least one universe.

The backup story is the first glimpse we get of the new “Robin: Son of Batman” series.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Loved Nicola Scott’s artwork, but I just couldn’t get into the story.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Devourers of Nuts


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4

Well, it’s a foregone conclusion that Squirrel Girl defeats Galactus, right? So how does it happen? Her powers involve squirrel strength and agility and the ability to talk to squirrels — she really shouldn’t stand a chance against the cosmic-powered Devourer of Worlds, right? So how does she do it? And do you really think I’m going to spoil the surprise?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good story. Super-weird story, really. Fun art, too. Some definite high points involve the letter column on the second page; how squirrels see Galactus; Galactus dissing Thanos; Galactus’s grubby keyboard and half-eaten Twinkies; and what happens when someone finally figures out Doreen’s secret identity.


Convergence: The New Teen Titans #1

The classic-era Teen Titans — Wonder Girl, Starfire, Nightwing, Cyborg, Changeling, and (ugh) Kole and Jericho — have been stuck under the dome without their powers for a year. When it finally drops and their powers return, they have to face the Doom Patrol from the Tangent Universe. Both teams are heroes, but will they realize it in time? And will they be able to work together? Besides all that, Nightwing is questioning his marriage to Starfire, Cyborg is slowly dying as his parts wear out, and Donna is missing her husband (ugh) Terry Long.

Verdict: Basically a thumbs up. I still hate the concept of this series, but this one at least hits on the idea that groups of superheroes should try to work together to save their worlds, rather than try to kill each other. It’s nice to see Marv Wolfman writing these characters, even if there’s too much of Donna mooning over the horrible Terry Long — plus it’s always great to see artwork by Nicola Scott.

Today’s Cool Links:

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All the Free Stuff

Free Comic Book Day was Saturday, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. I got to go to both of Denton’s comic book stores, stood in a surprisingly long line for one of them, bought some extra comics and games — some for me, some to give as gifts — and even got to see the very end of the Cinco de Mayo parade.

What were the comics I picked up? Let’s run down the list.


Mouse Guard, Labyrinth and Other Stories: A Free Comic Book Day Hardcover Anthology

Archaia published their second free hardcover in three years for FCBD, and that attention to quality alone got them to the top of the charts for me. Besides Mouse Guard and Labyrinth, the other stories include Ruse, Farscape, Bolivar, and Will O’ The Wisp. Far and away, my favorite story was Mouse Guard, which is always pretty amazing but always seems to pull out all the stops for the FCBD books. Hope you were able to pick this one up, ’cause you sure ain’t gettin’ mine.


Atomic Robo/Bodie Troll/Haunted Free Comic Book Day 2014

Robo and the Action Scientists of Tesladyne travel to Centralia, Pennsylvania to hunt for the Yonkers Devil, while Bodie Troll embarks on a quest for a magical land of yummy food, all on the promise that he’ll get something really awful to eat, and some ghosts chase people in “Haunted.” For once, the Atomic Robo story wasn’t the best of the batch — the Bodie Troll tale was charming and funny and wonderfully cartoony.


Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa: A History of Japan

Funny and insightful autobiographical comics by a man drafted into the Japanese Army during World War II. Our hero starts out thinking army life is pretty easy and sweet, up until everyone in the army decides they should beat him up all the time. Plus we get a look into Japanese society during the war and the mad overconfidence that led their leaders to really believe they could conquer the whole world. This is a genuinely awesome comic — we don’t often see nonfiction comics like this on Free Comic Book Day.


Rocket Raccoon

A fairly cute story about Rocket Raccoon and his funny-animal friends trying to rescue a princess, followed up by an all-ages adventure of Spider-Man, White Tiger, and Nova going into space to rescue Power Man and Iron Fist from a bunch of little green men and… a dentist? Fun reading for kids of all ages.


Teen Titans Go! FCBD Special Edition

Someone’s been stealing Cyborg’s food out of the fridge. Can Robin figure out the culprit? Will Cyborg’s traps foil the thief? And will the team survive a round of mini-golf when the wagers get higher and higher? I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Titans — this one has cute storytelling, and it’s far less bloodthirsty, gory, and cynical than DC’s other FCBD comic.


Hello Kitty and Friends

A collection of short Hello Kitty stories by numerous different creators, including Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani of “Tiny Titans” fame, plus a few bonus pages from the Bravest Warriors series. The whole thing was pretty cute, as you’d expect from Hello Kitty — should be a winner for anyone who loves her brand of kawaii.

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Friday Night Fights: Creator Crushing!

Well, lookie here, it’s Friday night, we’re all ready for the weekend, and all we need to get it started off right is a little mindless — or at least mostly mindless — comic book violence. Must be time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from a backup feature in June 1982’s New Teen Titans #20 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, and Romeo Tanghal. The evil Dr. Igor Igorigorigorivich has decided he wants to learn the secrets of the Teen Titans, so he breaches the dimensions to kidnap Marv Wolfman and George Perez!







I don’t know about you, but I’d really like to learn more about Len Wein and his teddy bears.

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Friday Night Fights: Three Alarm Blackfire!

Okay, people, it’s Friday, and as fast as the sun sets these days, it may as well be night already, so that’s good enough for me. Let’s kick off the weekend the violent-tastic way with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from November 1982’s New Teen Titans #25 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Starfire has been kidnapped by her rotten sister Blackfire and dragged off to another galaxy. The Teen Titans have pursued and gotten involved with the Omega Men and an intergalactic war, but they’ve finally tracked down Starfire. Cyborg takes Lord Damyn, a really stupid brute of a leader (though he does rock a mean fez), as a hostage to get Kory released, but Blackfire has her own ideas about how this should all play out…






It’s kinda sad. That fez really was awesome, wasn’t it?

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Friday Night Fights: Combo Breaker!

Let’s get this crazy thing goin’! It’s the weekend, and that means it’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from April 2004’s Teen Titans #8 by Geoff Johns, Tom Grummett, Kevin Conrad, and Jeromy Cox, as we watch Wonder Girl, Starfire, and Cyborg take Mammoth apart.

I ain’t doin’ anything fancier than that. I gotta get my weekend started right now! (runs away, leaves you all on your own)

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Friday Night Fights: Fighting Yourself!

Hey, you ready for Friday Night Fights? How ’bout you over there, you ready for Friday Night Fights? And you in the back, yeah, the guy wearing the onesie, you ready for Friday Night Fights? Well, let’s get to it then — it’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from February 2005’s Teen Titans #19 by Geoff Johns, Mike McKone, Marlo Alquiza, and Jeromy Cox, in which Tim Drake as Robin goes traveling through time and meets up with Tim Drake as Batman. Turns out they don’t get along.

Okay, y’all have a great weekend, and I’ll see you guys next week…

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Spike’s Peak

I know, I know, just yesterday, I said I was taking a hiatus — and fine, I will, I promise! But sometimes, some crazy fool thing jumps out at you and just demands you hit it with your blogging stick.

See, there’s this preview for Teen Titans #12 that was just released yesterday. I haven’t been reading the series, and couldn’t tell you exactly what’s going on, but apparently, Wonder Girl has some kind of new armor that’s a big to-do. And it looks like this:

That’s a quarter-ton of liquid crazy, mixed with another four hundred pounds of boiling-hot stupid.

That armor consists of a lot of ripped clothing, bizarrely floating hair, and gigantic, completely unsubtly phallic spikes.

We keep talking about how the DC Reboot was basically DC’s attempt to turn back time to the rotten days of 1990s Image Comics. And this is really the most embarrassingly crass example of that aesthetic. It’s a horny 14-year-old boy’s vision of what both femininity and badassery look like — except I think horny 14-year-old boys have a bit more maturity than the people currently running the show at DC.

Come on, Warner Brothers execs, I will throw you a pizza party if one of you guys steps in and calls a halt to the ongoing disaster at your comics division, okay?

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Friday Night Fights: Disrupting the Teen Scene!

Well, according to my calendar, it’s Friday, so it’s the end of the work week, and that means we need to get the weekend started right with a nice fat dose of… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Today’s battle comes to us from one of my favorite comics ever: June 1980’s The New Teen Titans #20 by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Romeo Tanghal, and Adrienne Roy, a story molded around the idea that Kid Flash is writing about the team’s latest adventures in a letter home to his parents. The villain in this issue is a guy called the Disruptor, who wears a high-tech super-suit that lets him… disrupt things. It’s sounds incredibly dorky, but he still manages to mop the floor with the Titans for a while, all narrated in overwrought style by the teenaged Wally West…

That’s what we got for this Friday. Next weekend is going to be post-holiday crazy, so I won’t be posting a fight next Friday, but we’ll have plenty of fighting to do the weekend after that…

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Worst of the Week


Teen Titans #62

I’d love to review some good comics today — goodness knows, I got a lot of good, entertaining comics that’d be a lot more fun to review — but this one just made me wanna smack the tar outta someone, and I’m not gonna dilute any good reviews I’ve got by pairing them with this turkey.

Okay, backstory time. A while back, after DC revamped the “Teen Titans” series again, they brought in a couple of hipster kids to serve as general maintenance/techheads for Titans Tower and as low-key comic relief. They named them Wendy and Marvin — yes, just like the comic-relief teens in the old “Super Friends” cartoon back in the ’70s. And yes, I rolled my eyes when they were introduced, because it really is a completely silly idea.

Well, in this issue, Marvin and Wendy find a dog. They name him Wonderdog, because no one can really figure out how he got all the way out to Titans Island. While all this is happening, Miss Martian leaves the team, Robin tells Wonder Girl that his old girlfriend Spoiler is alive again, and the remaining members of the team go off to the gym for training. And while no one’s looking, Wonderdog turns into a monster, kills Marvin and Wendy, and disappears into the night.

Yeahhh, how ’bout that?

DC has this ongoing problem where they can’t decide if they want to embrace the innocence of the Silver Age or if they want to tack the other direction, so they can tell everyone they’re making comics for grownups. Hence, you’ve got DC bringing back Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, and the silly kids from the “Super Friends” because it appeals to their sense of nostalgia. And then, to make ’em feel like they’re hardcore badboys who’d fit in at the nastiest corner of Image Comics, they kill Sue Dibny, they kill Bart Allen, and they turn Mary Marvel into a psychotic bimbo. It’s a constant push-and-pull — Is DC all about innocent, goofy fun? Is DC all about gritty and adult mayhem? Wait five minutes, and the answer will change again…

This is the same thing. They bring in Wendy and Marvin — isn’t it cute? It’s just like the crazy cartoon you loved when you were a kid! Then someone else at the company thinks to himself, “Hey, this is like a kid’s comic! I don’t make no kid’s comics!” And so they make yet another “Teen Titans” comic that looks like it was written by some sadistic lunatic.

It’s not like I really mind death in comics. I mean, I’m a pretty huge fan of horror comics of all types. What I do mind is gratuitous and unnecessary death in comics. And this was a picture-perfect definition of gratuitous and unnecessary.

And lo and behold, who’s that listed down there as one of this comic’s editors? Dan DiDio. Of course. What a complete and utter surprise. The guy who ain’t happy unless his comics are blood-soaked slaughterfests supervises yet another completely pointless and gratuitous blood-soaked slaughterfest.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I’m dropping this comic as of now.

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