Archive for Tiny Titans

The Titans and their Trees


Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #6

Cyborg uses his Justice League connections (he gets B’dg to activate a Boom Tube) so the Titans can get onto the JLA Watchtower to look for their lost Treehouse. Batman is sick of all this nonsense and gets Superman to activate another Boom Tube so he can lasso the Brainiac Club and the miniaturized Treehouse and drag it back home. And now the Titans have lots of different Treehouses from their various adventures during this series. But there’s more trouble on the horizen. Principal Slade has given them all detention for activating Boom Tubes during class — and the detention monitor is… LUNCH LADY DARKSEID! Is this the end?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Well, it’s kinda the end. But we get the implication that there are more Tiny Titans miniseries coming, which would be an entirely wonderful thing. The story itself is all kinds of fun, just like we’ve come to expect from everything Baltazar and Franco do.


Gotham Academy #2

Olive Silverlock continues to have an angsty high school career in creepy Gotham Academy. She can’t remember anything she did last summer, she doesn’t know if she’s even dating her boyfriend anymore, and did I mention how creepy Gotham Academy is? Aside from the weird schoolmates, creepy libraries and schoolrooms, and dogs randomly digging up human bones, there’s the bat cult hiding out in the cemetery. What’s Olive’s connection to all this? Heck, who is Olive, really?

Verdict: Thumbs up. In a way, there’s not a lot going on in this issue. I mean, there’s so much teenaged angst — sometimes way more than you can take, or even understand. But I really do love the stuff going on in the background, the backgrounds, the throw-off characters, the weird stuff that just barely registers with you. And I’d really, really love to find out what Olive’s deal is. She’s got something big going on with her, but what it might be, I’ve got not one single clue.


Velvet #8

Velvet has a thoroughly complicated plan to learn what’s hidden inside the ARC 7 headquarters. First she has to kidnap the director, strap a fake bomb on him, take his picture, freak everyone out and get them to evacuate the building, then glide in on a spy-tech flight suit, subdue the one guy smart enough to figure out her plan, and then make one phone call on one very special phone. Who does she call? What’s her next move?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art, amazine action, wonderful plot and development — and I’d dearly love to learn more about what’s happening next. Best espionage comic on the stands? I think it’s pretty likely.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Academy Awards


Gotham Academy #1

Holy cow, a new DC series that’s teen-girl-friendly? Stuff like that happens mighty rarely.

Our setting is, natch, Gotham Academy, a high-class prep school operating out of a building that looks like Arkham Asylum. Our lead characters are Olive Silverlock, a silver-haired second-year student with an anti-authority attitude, and Maps Mizoguchi, an incredibly innocent first-year student who Olive has been assigned to as a mentor to get her accustomed to the school. There follows a great deal of teenaged angst — until Olive decides to take Maps on a tour of the strictly-forbidden North Hall, just before the evening’s school assembly, featuring a speech by school benefactor Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, the North Hall and its tower are “structurally unsound” — and it’s a long way to the ground for a couple of teenagers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I didn’t love it as much as some folks did, but it’s a nice story, it’s got excellent characters, and it’s got great art. If they work it right, it’s got promise of becoming something transcendental — something that’ll become one of those sleeper hits no one really expects, that comic fans, non-comic fans, and future comics creators will talk about in reverent tones. But it’s got to do a bit more work to get there. For now, it’s a very fine debut comic, and it’ll be fun to see where it goes from here.


Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #5

The Titans travel to Paradise Island to find a new treehouse, but the boys aren’t allowed to touch the ground, so they have to wear pink slippers. Cheetah decides to hide Wonder Woman’s invisible jet by painting it camouflage colors… which works perfectly! Meanwhile, back at Sidekick City Elementary, Trigon has decided to hold a practice run of the demonic takeover he plans for the Earth once Raven has her 18th birthday. And there’s a discussion of the many different kinds of alternate earths there are…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s as cute and funny as we always expect the Tiny Titans to be, but I’ll admit my favorite bit is everyone’s complete inability to see the invisible jet once it’s actually visible.


Silver Surfer #6

The Surfer and Dawn Greenwood are leaving Earth — well, they’re leaving Earth slowly, because Dawn needs to eat, then she needs to go to the bathroom, then she needs to eat again, then she needs her tonsils out, and because she’s gotten her tonsils out, she demands ice cream — the greatest ice cream in the universe! That leads them to Planet Prime, a planet even the Surfer has never visited before. All the people there strive to be the most perfect at whatever their job is. So there’s one perfect architect who designs all the buildings, one perfect builder who builds all the buildings, one perfect painter who paints all the buildings — and one perfect warrior to defend the planet from cosmic-powered aliens. Can even the Silver Surfer defeat Warrior One?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really nice art, as always, and a fun story. It probably hits its peak early on, with the Surfer’s growing frustration with Dawn’s human limitations, but the rest of the story, though contrived, is nicely done.

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Taking Aim at Awesomeness


Lumberjanes #5

Rosie, the badass camp leader of the Lumberjanes, has left to investigate the strange goings-on in the forest, leaving Jen, the woefully-unprepared-for-monsters camp counselor, in charge. Everyone is disappointed they won’t get to go to the Raccoon Rodeo, but Jen gets everyone started making friendship bracelets (the comic actually includes instructions so you can make your own). But things get chaotic fast when velociraptors attack! This leads Jen to yell the best thing ever: “HOLY bELL hOOKS!” Yes, with partial lower-case letters, which is just perfect. Anyway, our heroic Lumberjane scouts capture or subdue most of the dinosaurs, but the last one is stopped by a huge bear who quickly reveals herself as an old woman — the legendary Bearwoman! And she’s not happy with how things have been run at the camp…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun art, hilarious dialogue, lots of weird stuff, and absolutely fantastic action. This series gets to be more and more fun the longer it goes on.


Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #4

The Tiny Titans may be able to get themselves a new treehouse in Atlantis, so Robin and Wonder Girl take a ride in Batgirl’s new submarine (and admire her awesome new costume) to follow Aqualad and Lagoon Boy to meet Aquaman (and Black Manta) (and Aqua-Cow) in Atlantis. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Beast Boy, Miss Martian, and Offspring tag along.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s awesome and very funny. It’s great to see Offspring again, and the dessert-loving Aquaman is the best version of the character since the “Brave and the Bold” cartoon went off the air.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • I really, really want these Cornetto Trilogy figures.
  • Y’all remember the “Homicide: Life on the Street” TV show? Man, that was a really outstanding show.
  • Speaking of Baltimore, the Ravens coaching staff and management should all be fired. And Roger Goodell should be fired, too — and he should have his teeth punched down his throat. Two-game suspension, wheee!
  • There sure are a lot of treasonous douchemooks out there lately. How come the cops never gun them down in the streets? Oh, wait, it’s because they’re white, isn’t it?

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Magic Words and Tiny Science


Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #3

The Tiny Titans enlist the help of Billy Batson, Mary Marvel, and the wizard Shazam as they try to locate a new treehouse. After enjoying some magic snowcones, Billy demonstrates how he can use his magic word to turn into Captain Marvel, and Robin tries to see if he can pull the same trick. Of course he can’t, which frustrates him even more when he learns that the wizard gave the awesome powers to Hoppy the Marvel Bunny. Later, Hoppy pays a visit to the League of Just Us Cows, and Robin gets his revenge on Freddie when he decides to gloat about his powers.

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, a cute, funny story with keen art and tons of cleverness. Kids’ll love it, grownups’ll love it. Everyone should go read it.


She-Hulk #7

Jennifer Walters and Patsy Walker meet up with some inventors who’ve invented a way to shrink objects and people without using Pym particles. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems. First, one of the inventors has shrunk himself and gotten lost in his backyard. Second, their shrinking process is unstable when used on living creatures — he could explode with enough force to level several blocks of the city if he’s not found and returned to his normal size. Hank Pym shrinks She-Hulk and Hellcat to help find the scientist, but he’s unexpectedly stolen away by a sparrow, forcing the two heroines to try to locate the lost man alone. Can Patsy master Hank’s ant-controlling helmet? Can She-Hulk survive a battle against feral cats? Can anyone keep the scientist from exploding?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a deeply goofy story about shrinking, and if we’ve learned anything from “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” it’s that deeply goofy stories about shrinking are often lots and lots of fun. On top of that, we’ve got the return of Javier Pulido on art. And the front and back pages of this issue make an enjoyable contrast. The whole thing is just a nice, fun comic.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Atomic


Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle #2

Robo is stranded in the Wild West — and his nuclear batteries are starting to run dry. Everyone thinks he’s some guy called Ironhide, and they expect him to be able to keep a bunch of townspeople safe — along with the notorious Doc Holliday. When the bandits torch the town, Robo, the marshal, and Holliday go to track them down, little suspecting that an unexpected enemy is waiting for them at the end of the trail.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really loving Robo in the West, and the last panel reveal of the Big Bad is excellently satisfying.


Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #2

The Titans are trudging through the Arctic trying to find the Fortress of Solitude. They get to hang out briefly with Superman before he has to fly off to save Jimmy Olsen. They also call the various Brainiacs trying to get their shrunken treehouse back, but no luck. They also meet up with Bizarro, Match, and Bizarro-Girl — and a Bizarro Duck called DUckzarro. Man, I don’t know. Will even Superman be able to save the Titans’ treehouse?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wow, Duckzarro — I had no idea how something that crazy actually happened. I’m glad it did, though.


Daredevil: Road Warrior

If you ever wanted to find out what happened while Matt Murdock was moving from New York City to San Francisco — and if you wanted it as its own separate one-shot comic instead of part of the regular series — well, I guess this one is for you. Matt and Kirsten McDuffie take a long train trip cross-country, and Daredevil tangles with the Man-Bull and a mysterious amnesiac shapeshifter — and with the Mad Thinker.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s especially nice to see the Mad Thinker treated as a genuine threat as well as a certified super-genius. But a big chunk of me suspects there was never any real good reason for this comic to exist. This could’ve been shoehorned into the current series without any difficulty — no reason for a special issue for it.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • We may yet get Guillermo Del Toro’s film adaptation of Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness.”
  • The always-crass DC Entertainment will put Superman’s “S” shield on everything from toys to sub sandwiches. But statues commemorating children? That doesn’t promote the brand or bring in any money.
  • Wanna get the Basic Rules for the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons — completely free? Go download the PDF right now.

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Titans Together


Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #1

Whoa, lookit that! Tiny Titans is back! It’s only for a miniseries, though, which kinda sucks. But any Tiny Titans we get is very good Tiny Titans.

The Tiny Titans Treehouse has mysteriously disappeared! Turns out Psimon and Brainiac-5 are trying to get their Brainiac merit badges, and the one thing Brainiacs love the most is shrinking things, so they’ve shrunk the treehouse — with Raven, Beast Boy, and Terra inside!

It’s up to Robin, Superboy, Supergirl, and their super-pets to save them — but their investigations only lead them to Swamp Thing, Solomon Grundy, and Metamorpho. Can everyone get rescued in time? Can the treehouse be recovered?

Verdict: Thumbs up. About my only objection is that so few of the classic Tiny Titans characters actually appear in this issue. No Star, no Cyborg, no Donna or Barb, no Bee or Plasmus or Crock or Kid Flash or Damian or the Bat-Cow or Lunch Lady Darkseid. It’s a miniseries — I don’t want them to show up for cameos in later issues — I want to see as many of them as I can in every issue.

But having said that, it’s still great fun and still worth reading, both for kids and for their parents. There’s still the wonderful cartooning, funny situations, great characterization, and unexpected guest stars we’ve come to expect from all of Baltazar and Franco’s work.

It’s just a miniseries, but you still need this in your life — it may be the only good thing DC is publishing right now.

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Friday Night Fights: Cattle Carnage!

I’ve been treated to a very rare day off, so I got a slight head-start on the weekend. But lemme help y’all get caught up with some wonderful comic book violence. It’s time for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle isn’t the bloodiest or most savage, but it still gives me a lot of joy. From August 2009’s Tiny Titans #17 by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, here’s the funny cartoon version of the Battle for the Cowl!





That’ll do it for me. Y’all enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I’ll see y’all back here on Monday.

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Back in Business

Batman, Inc. #1

Grant Morrison’s “Batman, Inc.” series gets a brand new Number One, though as far as any of us can tell, the old “Batman, Inc.” storyline continues on the same course it was on before. Batman and Robin (Bruce and Damian Wayne this time) chase a goat-masked gunman into a slaughterhouse — and promptly find themselves in the middle of an ambush as more masked thugs attack. And by the end of the fight, it’s revealed that Leviathan, the shadowy global crime organization, has targeted Damian for assassination. While Leviathan works on cementing its hold over Gotham, all the heroes who seemingly died in the last issue — Batwing, the Outsiders, the Hood, Gaucho, and more — meet and reveal that they’re now part of Batman’s secret army. But can Batman save Robin from death? Or are there just too many assassins gunning for him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great writing by Morrison, great art by Chris Burnham. Lightning-fast action, outstanding twists and turns. Great dialogue for the squabbling Dynamic Duo. And it’s great that, with the pre-Reboot Outsiders we see here, this story is still set in the original, proper DC Universe.

And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this panel was my very favorite in any comic in the last month:

And as others have noted, this definitely means that Grant Morrison was a fan of the “Tiny Titans” series.

So yeah, definitely adding this one to my pull list.

Justice League Dark #9

I didn’t enjoy the first issue of this, but I decided to give it another shot. Jeff Lemire is the comic’s new writer, and while I haven’t yet decided whether I like *all* his stuff, I’ve got enough good impressions of him to try this comic again.

So Steve Trevor, special liaison for the Justice League, calls on John Constantine with a special mission — find out what Felix Faust is up to and retrieve the magical item he’s using to empower himself, and in exchange, Constantine will get ten minutes in the Black Room — a secret repository for powerful magical items — to take whatever he can carry. So Constantine puts together a team — Zatanna, Andrew Bennett from “I, Vampire,” Deadman, and Black Orchid — and they go out to bust up Faust and his cult. But will the new “Justice League Dark” be ready for the item Felix Faust is hiding?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting much from it, but it was far more entertaining, readable, and engaging than what I saw of the first issue of the series. I’m more than willing to pick up some future issues, so I think that’s enough for me to judge it a success.

The Amazing Spider-Man #686

Dr. Octopus’s satellites are going to burn the Earth to a cinder, and they’ve already started on Silver Sable’s homeland of Symkaria — but wait, it’s all an illusion created by the special effects wizardry of Mysterio! While the Chameleon masquerades as Doc Ock to battle the Wall-Crawler, the real Otto discovers the deceit and takes over Chameleon’s remote-control disguise so he can fight Spidey himself. Luckily, the suit is just a cheap imitation and can’t stand up ti Spidey, Silver Sable, and the Black Widow — and Spidey manages to make a deal with Mysterio to get him to join the good guys, at least temporarily. So the Sinister Six has been depleted down to just Doc Ock and the Rhino — unless Octavius has managed to acquire some new, unexpected minions…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent story all around — writing, art, dialogue, humor, action, plot twists, and just overall braininess. There has not been a single bad issue of this storyarc, and that’s pretty impressive.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • The loony One Million Mom group (which doesn’t include anywhere near one million mothers — just 47,000 homophobic, faux-Christian bigots) has already gotten its butt kicked by Ellen DeGeneres and Archie Andrews and is now going to get its butt whupped by Northstar and a DC hero to be named later.
  • Greg Rucka keeps giving great interviews. Here he is talking about why he writes strong female characters.
  • Snell digs up every jungle prince and princess he can find.

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Farewell, Tiny Titans

Tiny Titans #50

The final issue of this glorious, hilarious series. You have no idea how depressed I’ve been about this.

What do we get in the last issue? No big tearjerking farewell, no complex, series-ending plotline — we get what “Tiny Titans” always did best — lots of hijinx. Beast Boy continues to try to win Terra’s heart and decides he’ll need to relaunch himself — with a rocket — to get her to love him. Meanwhile, Superboy and Supergirl get some new costumes, Alfred shows off the awards the series has won, and Superman himself shows up. We also get a short preview of “Superman Family Adventures,” the new all-ages comic that Art Baltazar and Franco will be working on.

Verdict: Thumbs up. But I actually do have one quibble, because this issue really should’ve been three or four times as long as normal, just to make sure we’d be able to see as many characters as possible and give them all a proper farewell. As it is, most of the characters we see just show up for brief cameos. But having said that, yeah, this is another wonderful, awesome issue of “Tiny Titans” and thus a perfect way to end the series. We get lots of reminders of some of the high points — the “Little Archie” crossover, Batcow, the sideways snarky comments about goings-on in the DCU — and altogether, it’s just a great little issue of a great all-ages series.

I hope you all got to read and enjoy it — and if you didn’t, fer cryin’ out loud, go get the trade paperbacks. And thanks, Baltazar and Franco, for fifty issues of comics joy.

The Amazing Spider-Man #682

After Spider-Man takes down a supervillain with some tech inspired by his arch-foe, the Green Goblin, including some Spider-Bombs and a Spider-Glider, he gets a reminder that the work he’s been doing at Horizon Labs as Peter Parker has had a powerful effect on the world, too. Not everyone agrees — Mayor J. Jonah Jameson wants Horizon Labs shut down permanently — and far away, Doctor Octopus, slowly dying and wrapped up in more cybernetic machinery than ever, is plotting the world’s downfall with the rest of the Sinister Six. He uses satellites secretly placed in orbit to magnify the effects of the sun’s rays and accelerate climate change worldwide. What does he want to make all this go away? He wants the world to acknowledge him as one of the planet’s greatest geniuses before he dies — and in exchange, he will use his satellites to actually reverse global warming. Will the world play along? Will Spidey be able to get the Avengers to deal with Doc Ock as a serious threat?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a fine story, even if I really can’t buy Doc Ock as a guy willing to pull of a global scheme like this, especially since he’s always been focused on more down-to-earth supervillainy. But the art is good, the dialogue pops nicely, there are some nice, small character moments scattered around the issue, and the plot moves along at a good pace, too.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Make a Squish

Tiny Titans #49

The focus in this issue is on — no big spoiler — the squishy and stretchy members of the Tiny Titans, including Plasmus and Offspring, with guest appearances from Proty from the Tiny Legion and Clayface, in his “Tiny Titans” debut. We get to sit in on a Squishy Titans meeting, watch Clayface get mud all over everything, watch them impersonate superheroes — and we get Clayface’s truly epic list of all the amazing things you can do with mud. All that, plus Larfleeze and Glomulus stop by for a visit.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of high-spirited lunacy, in the finest Tiny Titans tradition — Clayface spending a whole gigantic page to enthuse about mud, Plasmus joyfully dancing around about a cheese log, the bizarre debut of Man-Bat, the Squishies disguising themselves as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and all the way down to Plasmus getting knocked out by a kiss from Bumblebee. This is the next-to-the-last issue, and it should be obvious to everyone that we’re losing something really special when this series ends.

The Amazing Spider-Man #680

There’s an emergency situation on the Apogee I space station — and J. Jonah Jameson’s son John is on board. Spider-Man heads for the Baxter Building — they’re the only people around who could get a ship up to the space station in time to help with a rescue. Unfortunately, only Johnny Storm is in, but he and Spidey head into orbit, dock with the station, and head inside, only to find it deserted… except for a bunch of Dr. Octopus’ Octobots. Unfortunately, Spidey’s webs are ineffective in zero gravity, and Johnny can’t flame on without burning up the station’s limited oxygen. John Jameson is able to save them, but they’re not out of the woods yet — the crew has been zombified, and the Sinister Six are getting ready to destroy the station completely.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The banter between Spider-Man and Johnny Storm is absolutely perfect and is probably worth the price of the comic all by itself.

Today’s Cool Links:

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