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Old 08-04-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
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Rob's installment.....

We Have Issues --- Saturday 8-4-2012

Teen Titans #11

Story by: Scott Lobdell Art and Cover By: Brett Booth &Norm Rapmund

Quick intorductions…..Prior to creating the team, Scott Lobdell expressed a desire to create a more diverse Titans roster, drawing parallels to the diversity he created during his run on Generation X. I applaud the fact that he has succeeded on many levels. The team consists of the classic line of Red Robin, Superboy, Wondergirl, and Kid Flash. Added to that core we have Solstice back on the team, and new characters in the form of an African American girl with insect-themed powers named Skitter, and Bunker, a Mexican teenager who can create force fields that provides the comedy relief that Gar Logan always provided in the past. Now another thing about Bunker that you probably don’t know….because it is being handled in a way that it should be and not a publicity stunt for headlines is the Miguel is gay. He mentioned it one time I think…was met with a “no big deal” reaction and Lobdell has thankfully let his heroics, sense of humor, and friendly nature define him…and believe me that is the only reason why I bring this aspect of Bunkers character up in the first place because of my respect for how Lobdell is portraying him as a hero first and foremost and the diversity he is striving for as a whole. Now there is one more member of the team that some Doom Patrol fans might enjoy that I won’t reveal here…but I was very surprised and thought it was brilliant!

Okay….where to begin.

Let me start by saying that the Teen Titans has always been a book I have certain affection towards. Marv Wolfman and George Perez pulled me into the DC Universe through the new Teen Titans book in the 80’s. I always find myself WANTING to like the book and hoping for the best………………….and that same feeling is true in this recent incarnation of the title in DC’s new 52 line-up.

I similarly have a desire to see Scott Lobdell do well. His X-Books were pretty darn entertaining at a time when X-books hadn’t been entertaining to me in a while. Additionally I like me some Brett Booth…critics be damned! Backlash rocked and the art on the Backlash/Spider-Man team up was outstanding!

The first story arc of the Titans book wrapped up with a crossover with Legion Lost and developed a ruthless team of bad guys called N.O.W.H.E.R.E. that was kidnapping and experimenting on young super powered people. Issue #11 finally finds the team back home after surviving their battle, reuniting as a team, and thankfully ditching the corny TRONesque looking suits they were all wearing.

One of the main subplots going through the book revolves around Wonder Girl….her origin…her powers…and a suit of armor that appears from time to time that seems to be called upon by her anger or rage. Now, the unique thing about this armor is that is comes up from under her skin…check this out…

So…that’s not exactly a good time for her.

This issue begins the story arc that is finally going to reveal some truths about Cassie. The story starts off with a fight scene that sees Wondergirl giving in to her armored state in order to defeat a powerful being attacking her teammates in their penthouse. The other Titans interact on a minimal level while Superboy and Red Robin are not home…but make their way towards the battle once they realize what is going on…

My first reaction to this armor thing was fearing a Dark Phoenix type of thing…but thus far Cassie seems to have a level of control to not want to hurt anyone other than those deserving…even one of her team that doesn’t recognize when she is about to do something she is going to regret.

Superboy and Red Robin arrive on the scene in time to see pretty much little else then what we see on the cliffhanger splash page, beautifully drawn by Booth.

Now, I normally would not do such a “recap” of a book with so many visuals…but I really want to toss as much out there as I can without giving away spoilers to see if I can generate some conversation about this book. There is a lot being done right in this book….but there are also some things that are being done wrong.

I liked the new origin of Red Robin gathering the team himself after tracking down members that thought themselves to be off the radar. Back in the old DCU I really enjoyed the friendship that Superboy and Red Robin developed over the years, as well as his eventual relationship with Wondergirl. In this book it seems like they are almost trying to force both those relationships into the team. In the DC52 Superboy was designed to kill the Titans (among others). Somehow Red Robin immediately saw through that and went off to rescue Superboy and voila, he is on the team! I think he should eventually be there….but should be brought in much slower. Now granted, Superboy’s solo book is going to be cancelled sooner than later if history repeats itself…so perhaps they are trying to establish a foothold for him in the Titans book as quickly as possible. If that is the case, I’d rather see him in some back up stories discovering himself (not a euphemism) and figuring out what he wants to stand for now that he is not a lab experiment.

I know it’s early, but there are still things that I feel need to be addressed, such as the teams funding (I assume Wayne related), the JLA’s opinion of the team, the fact that Wondergirl claims to not be affiliated with Wonder Woman, and Kid Flash’s origin. I am hoping that these are on the agenda and the book continues to fire on all cylinders…but as I said I have been a Titans fan for a long time and suffered through some bad years. I think this book is at a crossroads and it could go either direction in the next year.

Now DC claims to have specific sales goals for each book of the new 52 and that any book not meeting the goal will be scrubbed for something new…and I think that the Titans might be on that short list. I hope DC gives the creative team enough time to lay the foundation needed for long term success. Unfortunately I think the creative team has a “90’s smell” to it in a lot of people’s minds and the book is being overlooked….hence my pic heavy review.

If you have liked good Titans books in the past…give this one a shot. Pick up the first trade and see for yourself…or jump in with issue #11 as it seems to be a good starting point moving forward.

Overall review = 7 Judas Contracts out of 10
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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We Have Issues --- Saturday 8-4-2012

Thor #17

Art by: Pepe Larraz (where did this guy come from? He’s been fantastic!)
Written by: I refuse to even mention the name…….

Okay…..this one is going to be short and blunt. Just read the part of the recap page I circled…..

Honestly…..have you ever read a crappier premise for a story in your life?

FINALLY the Enchantress is stepping into the Thor Spotlight after being gone for way too long…and THIS is what we get?

It gets worse folks…..check out some of the dialogue….

Wait, what? Did Thor just say that this new “Keep” character is Skurge the Executioner come back to life? What a way to kick Walt in the nuts after he provides the best thing about this entire issue…the cover! Now, I don’t want that so sound like a slight against Pepe….how can you NOT root for a guy named Pepe?? The art on this arc has been very well done and I actually would prefer this style over Pasqual Ferry's style.

Screw this writer! What is Marvel thinking? Thor deserves so much better.

I don’t see how the same guy can do well with Iron Fist…hell, more than well….and then really bring some great stuff to Iron Man….and at the same time take a big heaping crap on Thor and Cap during Fear Itself and then just bring the Thor book to a low I haven’t seen since issue #302

that’s right…I went there!

Fantastic Four fans…be warned! He’s your problem now!

the only redeeming quality about this issue was the art. For that reason alone I will give it a rating of 4....but it's still 4 flushes of the Asgardian throneroom commode after Volstagg uses the facilities whence done with the harvest feast!
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:24 PM   #3
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Fraction's Iron Fist absolutely sucked. His X-Men absolutely sucked. Fear Itself absolutely sucked. Iron Man? During the Stark vs. Osborn arc it actually was pretty good but before/after that? Absolutely sucked. His Thor absolutely sucks.

Fraction's run during that one Iron Man arc is like Grant Morrison's work on All-Star Superman. Everything else Morrison's written, everything, has been trash. My belief? Both Morrison and Fraction had ghost writers during these flashes of brilliance because they both, yes, absolutely suck.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:21 AM   #4
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LOVED your thoughts on Scott Lobdell and Titans Rob, couldn't agree more. Also couldn't agree more at how baffling it is that Fraction can create the Masterpiece Iron Fist run that he did, and then write an unrecognizable Thor
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:44 AM   #5
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Captain Marvel #1

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artrist: Dexter Soy

The much publiscised relaunch of both a Carol Danvers solo title AND Captain Marvel as a character has arrived, and well, it's off to a somewhat quiet start.

The introductory issue is a mash of a comic, with a three-four page team up fight with Captain America against the Absorbing Man, a training montage with Spider-Man (huh?) and the rest of the book is filled with internal monologue and a forced backstory with Carol's (apparently only) friend, Helen Cobb. All this while she reflects on the legacy of Mar-Vell.

Now, I had, and continue to have high hopes for this book. To see Carol become a major cosmic player, on the eve of Marvel's promise to go back to a much larger focus on it's cosmic universe can only be a great thing.....If done right. There's nothing here in issue #1 to suggest that can't happen, but there's also nothing that gets you excited to think it will. That said, there's time for that, and we obviously aren't going to get much more than some establishing tone in any first issue, but the said reality is, solo books with a female protagonist just dont last as a rule.

Off hand, with the obvious exception of Wonder Woman, I would cite characters like Catwoman, She-Hulk, Black Widow, X-23 and yes, Ms Marvel as recent attempts to carve out a niche that failed. So if you can, do get behind this book and give it a chance.

DeConnick's writing in this issue is labored and the history between Carol and Steve is handled in a very clunky manner, but it's nothing compared to the poor way we are spoon fed her apparent bond with Spidey.

Dexter Soy's art is an interesting beast here. It's a unique approach and with this being a launch issue, is perfect in setting tone, but his Cap is wonky and his designs on the new Captain Marvel don't seem as confident as the first sneak images did a few months back.

The only other minor issue I have, is that usualy with a launch issue the audience is given one of two things with the final pages. A shock reveal, or a cliffhanger ending to entice you back next month. Here we are given what seems to be an attempt at a big reveal, but said "reveal" is the title of the damn book?!?!

Take a look for yourself...

I'm not writing this book off, far from it in fact, I'm in for the long haul because I want someone to prove a female led comic CAN succeed, but this isn't the best of starts. I eagerly await issue two, and hope you will too

Last edited by Rocket; 08-05-2012 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:09 AM   #6
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Action Comics 12

For the background n what happened, I’ll refer you guys to my earlier review of Action Comics 11, which has a ‘story so far’ to get y’all up to date.

This issue ends what is a year of the new ‘Harry Potter’ Clark Kent stories for Grant Morrison and Rags Morales. I’ve already mentioned I like ( not love ) this new take. Compared to the 12 issues of Superman, this book has been the only place where we Superman fans get to have their monthly dose of a good Superman story.
I’m gonna be slightly more spoilerific this time 

The issue starts with what you think is Flashback. Separate Panels feature Clark n Jonathon Kent staring at the heavens, Clark leaving Smallville, coming to Metropolis / the Daily planet, Forming those relationships with Perry, Lois, Jimmy n the rest, Embracing his ‘Superman’-ness, Fighting alongside his peer’s from the Justice league, Looking at earth from the Tower ( great Caption here : “It’s Like Camelot” ), Lois in a wedding gown and in Superman’s (Not Clark’s ) Arms,”A golden Age has begin” “ a dream come true” .. wait what !!! Yeah.. now you notice that all the panels which came had a hazy outline, DREAM SEQUENCE !!!!
A great way to start a book, really liked it..
In the last book, Lois was dying ( well thrown into a Car’s windshield ) and the People of Metropolis were attacking Superman under mind-control of the new character. So it seems the First 2 pages have been Superman under a Mental attach, but being Married to Lois brings him to his senses ( Why wouldn’t it !! It worked for me  )

Now I’ll be brief:
Superman Comes out of his haze, Lois looks to be bleeding and in real bad shape. He tries to get to Lois through the horde of folks attacking him. All this time, Suzie is bewildered, that her Kidnapper / protector is trying to hurt superman and her Aunt Lois. Suzie gets to her, helps reduce her pain through her powers.
The Villain – Hoodie guys and superman are Duking it out, well, The villain throws Cars at Supes, and Superman is punching them. Finaly he Gets buried under a lot of them. The Hoodie invited Suzie to finally come with him to this ship – The Cometeer (HINT !! ). He tries to convince Suzie to come with him, shows her he means no harm, but if she doesn’t come with him, some bad folks will get to her. Susie don’t want to leave with Aunt Lois in such condition. To prove to her he shows her his origin. Pretty Cool stuff, practically mirroring a superhero origin. I’ll Link you to it, so as not to spoil stuff. ( the ever reliable (not ) Wikipedia: Origin )
Apparently, Superman has also seen into his mind when he was under the Mental attack. He calls him the First Superman. There’s a Flashback, where we learn what Mr. First Superman has been up to. We get introduced to the folks he is working for – The Oort Kind. They are taking Susie or the Neo Sapiens / Nutants to turn them into Warriors and Superman cannot interfere.

Superman is Pissed – you invade his mind, abduct his friends, act like you own the place, He’s gonna try to Punch ya ! First Superman says he’s working for the people who own this planet and throws Superman into a building. He tells Susie she can do similar things, and that is why they must leave. She doesn’t want to.
Rescue folks arrive, The Firemen find one of theirs Eaten from inside out ( there’s 2 eyeballs lying on the road.. EYEBALLS wtf !! ) And they find Johnny Clark’s Helmet. Well, Superman has lost 2 identities now, Apparently Johnny clark’s been vapourised.

Superman Gets up, and tells Mr. Hoodie who’s prepping to leave what he’s going to do. ( don’t all superheroes do that? ) I like the way it’s put, it ties in to the name of the book
Supes ends up getting in a great punch. Mr. Hoodie gets ready for endgame – a Psychic Bullet ! Luckily, Susie interferes and Saves Supes. He protests, saying he is doing it to save her and save all of the earth. Supes goes – you went about it the wrong way. The spaceship arrives and teleports? First Superman away.
Now Supes gets back to Lois, She’s badly hurt. Supes zooms her away to the Hospital. There’s too many internal injuries, and she does not have the hours it would take to operate. We finally see a great Superman Moment which takes us straight back to the golden and silver ages. He saves her, obviously !

As he’s changing, Batman arrives, giving him a flash drive. It’s got all the facts on Clark’s Life and what he’s been up to since he came to Metropolis. His suggestion to Supes is to bring Clark back to Life. ( Apparently Superman can read Flashdrives with his ‘flashdrive vision” ??? )

Now the build up to the next issue, Superman arrives at Clark’s old quarters and his landlady reveals her true form / origin. We see she’s from another dimension, and she came here to protect clark from the “Envious one”. I would really like to tell ya who it is, but you can figure it out. The last page sees Susie being tucked in, and the little freakish dude from issue #1 is in the room approachin Sleeping Suzie, “Hello Little Girl..”

Overall, I loved the issue, despite some of the Hokieness which I feel is deliberate as Morrison is trying to Channel the Golden age stuff. Loved the call back to one of the forgotten heroes ( Link above ). Really loved the way Superman saves Lois, that’s what Superman is to me, that is exactly what I love about an all-powerful Superhero and what I loved about superman as a kid. It was a magical thing, I’d love to see Superman (or Flash ) read the entire library in a few seconds to solve a mystery. It’s something I’d love to see more. It’s Morrison, heck we are going to see the cool stuff, and crazy ideas. Some work, some don’t. There’s one which really bothered me – Reading the Flashdrive. I really did not like Flashdrive vision, what is that??? If it’s explained I’d be fine, can Superman read the one’s and zeroes encoded magnetically and then decode them in his head? A leap too far for me.
I also thought the resolution to Clark Kent’s identity crisis was very meh, I would have liked to see some more creativity here. ( No no “No more mutants” or “Brand new Day” here please ) Hopefully, next issue when we see Clark explaining where he was to Lois n the Daily Planet Gang. I’m more excited to see the next one, and some inter-dimensional craziness.

A great issue, and I love where it is going, all set for the next few and the end of Morrison’s run.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:14 AM   #7
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I agree on Fracton, i have no clue what's happened to him. His Iron Fist. THor:Ages of Thunder was what caused me to think Fraction could be great on Thor.. Unfortunately, Dissappointed.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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I am not a Fraction fan either. I do not like his THor at all and Fear Itself was Blah. His Defenders has been OK but not great . The man can NOT write. Though I will admit I did enjoy Hawkeye # 1
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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wow. that thor dialogue is terrible. thanks for the reviews!
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:52 PM   #10
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I really liked the Fraction/Brubaker/Aja Iron Fist run.
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