Thursday, June 22, 2017

Teen Titans #26

Okay, we're past the abomination that was the Superboy/Luthor storyline, so it's clear sailing from here on out, right? Hmm, let's see what the cover of this issue is... Oh Christ... Here we go again...

Teen Titans #26(Sept. 2005)

Summary: So Superboy is back on the Kent farm, and has quit the Titans. Plus he's bemoaning the fact that he doesn't have a soul. Raven shows up and takes him through his life, along with Lex Luthor now randomly being a part of Project: Cadmus because of course he was... Granted, Superman was dead, meaning he had no reason to fret over Supes anymore, and as such had no reason to make a Superman/Luthor clone, but why let facts get in the way of a sucky story. Also, back when Supes bit the big one, Lex had long flowing hair and a beard, but naturally he's the regular bald Lex in the flashback because Johns just doesn't give a shit.
What the hell does he mean, "This project needs a name."??!!  It had two names, in this panel!!!

So Superboy goes through his life and fights off evil, bald Superboy, at which point Raven tells him he had a soul after all. And that it was hidden(the fuck?!) until he broke free of Lex's control... I hate to say it twice in one review, but what the flaming fuck?!?
So his soul was always there, or he made it, or it was hidden, or some bullshit...  This frigging comic...

Anyway, Raven tells Superboy to come back to the Titans, but he's just too damned angsty to return just yet, which ends this mess.

Thoughts: I'll be honest, I think I summed my thoughts of this issue up pretty well in the summary... The story was bad, it was executed terribly, and made zero sense, even by bad comic book standards. Now, I like good comics. Good comics can make you think, they can make you feel, good comics are like a piece of good art. They ARE good art. I like bad comics. Yes, that's right, I do. Bad comics can be fun to pick apart and laugh at. I'm the kind of person who can watch terrible movies repeatedly, just to laugh at them. Hell, JT and I have done that for YEARS! But I hate... Let me emphasize this, I HATE insulting comics. Comic books that just ignore the past, rewrite things for no good reason, make no sense, and are, well, insulting. The last three issues of this series? Insulting. Totally insulting. It was the frigging insulting comic book trifecta. It ignored Superboy's past, it rewrote his entire origin for no good reason(there were plenty of other ways to put Luthor in this series), and made no real sense... So Lex made a clone of Superman and himself, to betray Superman, even though Superman was dead?!? Ugh. I hated this storyline. I really, really hated it...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Teen Titans #24-25, Outsiders #24-25

Okay, this is the storyline I have been dreading the most out of this entire Teen Titans run. And that's really saying a lot! Long story short, I hate the way Geoff Johns altered Superboy's entire history, just so he could feed his fanboy ego and make the character the way he wanted. After reading all 100 of Superboy's original series, as well as the 50 issues of Young Justice he starred in, seeing that character torn up for no good reason vexes me to this day. As such, I'm going to knocking out all 4 parts of the stupid, “Lex Luthor is randomly Superboy's father and/or god” storyline in one post. So yeah, this one may be a bit on the long side, although, due to my disdain for this storyline, I'm going to try to make it as short as possible. Also, for some reason, this storyline ties in with the Outsiders, so I'll be looking at those here as well.

Teen Titans #24-25, Outsiders #24-25:

Summary: Now possessed due to a audio file sent to his computer by Lex Luthor, Superboy beats up the Teen Titans with total ease.
What the!?  This entire series all Johns did was hammer home the point that Superboy was destined to be evil because of his genes!

Robin calls the Outsiders for help(???), which leads to Outsiders member Indigo randomly turning into Brainiac 8. Brainiac 8 beats up the Outsiders, but leaves before striking any killing blows because reasons. The Outsiders meet up with the Titans and compare notes, but get attacked by a mess of Superman robots. Brainiac 8 meets up with Lex Luthor, Superboy and Brainiac. The Titans and Outsiders wind up destroying the Superman-bots(why they couldn't do that during Graduation Day, I have no idea), which leads to Lex and Superboy popping up to attack. Wonder Girl manages to get through to Superboy for a moment, but that gets shut down by Lex. Brainiac and Brainiac 8 arrives to kill Wonder Girl, as she seems to hate Wonder Girls, I guess. However, the heroes rally, Superboy goes back to normal, and Brainiac 8 is killed. Who the hell knows what happened to Lex or Brainiac... The end.

Thoughts: Now THAT'S how you review four comic books! I did that even faster that I imagined I would, the length is pretty much the same as a regular review. Okay, back to this mess... This entire storyline exists because Geoff Johns always thought it was a good idea for Lex Luthor to be Superboy's human donor. Before he was involved with DC, he wrote in to the Superboy comic book and put his idea forward, before Superboy's human donor was revealed. However, in the years that followed, DC went in a different direction, and Superboy's donor was revealed to be Project Cadmus Executive Director, Paul Westfield. That stood until Johns was able to get his hands on Superboy, at which point he immediately implemented his own ideas for Superboy, even though it made little sense and flew in the face of Superboy's previously revealed origin. That's what pisses me off the most about this story in particular, and Geoff Johns in general, I find it extremely disrespectful to disregard the past work of other creators, whether you like their work or not. But then, Johns's entire career has been spent pissing all over the work of past writers, see: Hal Jordan suddenly being absolved of all of his crimes while Parallax, Batrry Allen suddenly NOT being dead after 25 years, and of course this damned Superboy story. I mean, it's one thing if you have an actual GOOD plan to do these things, but Johns never does... Contrast this story with the Winter Soldier story over in Marvel to see what I mean about having a good plan for altering a characters' history. *sigh* Well, I have made my way through the story I was most dreading in this series, so it's gotta be smooth sailing the rest of the way, right guys?
Yeah, I doubt it too...

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Teen Titans #23

Okay, we've reached the end of the Dr. Light storyline, which has, thus far, made the Teen Titans look like a bunch of scrubs. The Titans spent all of last issue being dominated by Dr. Light, who had been the whipping boy of... well, everybody in the DCU before his upgrade in Identity Crisis. With the Titans thoroughly dominated, every single prior living member of the Titans shows up to lend a hand. Let's see if Light beats them all up too!

Teen Titans #23(June 2005):

Summary: All of the Titans attack Dr. Light, with Nightwing falling comfortably into the role of leader.
Check this out!  This is the first time in the series Johns didn't make Wally out to be a giant douche!

Unfortunately for the 20+ Titans, it doesn't matter, as Light is able to stand up to them... Really, all of them!? Although, the more I think of it, the Titans are probably all just getting in each others way, seeing as that most of them have never worked together, they didn't have any real time to plan, etc. Light downs the gathered heroes and goes back to where he laid out Green Arrow, who is being slowly dragged away by Speedy. Light threatens Speedy, who prepares to fire the super special, one of a kind mystery arrow she was given by Arsenal for her birthday. Before she can fire though, Cyborg jumps in and attacks and defeats Light. After that... Wait, rewind a second, he BEAT him?!? On his own, one on one?!?! The same Dr. Light who defeated the entire Teen Titans team last issue AND downed all of the Titans from the past this issue?
Why the hell didn't he just put the shields up once he saw Light??!?!?!

Uh-huh... Moving on, Batman and Batgirl show up to take Dr. Light to prison... Or so the Titans think, as it's a swerve, and Batman and Batgirl were actually Deathstroke and Ravager in disguise, and were taking Light to join the Injustice Society. Later on, we get a team bonding scene with Speedy telling the Titans that she was HIV positive, which leads to a few of the other Titans spilling their secrets.
Um, good to know?

Even though he has the perfect opportunity to spill his own secret, Superboy chooses to remain mum.

Thoughts: Sometimes this series really makes me wonder... And not in a good way... So Dr. Light becomes an evil god among men, and just beats the hell out of like 25 characters. Just pulverizes everybody, leaves everybody laying. And then gets beaten by Cyborg over the course of a few panels... Cyborg, who is running on electricity, beats Dr. Light. We've seen Light pull Superboy's heat vision out of his eyes, as well as seen him manipulate the electricity from Wonder Girl's lasso, and yet he couldn't just power Cyborg down?! What the hell kind of stupid ass bullshit is that?! Somebody like Raven or Superboy/Wonder Girl, or even Speedy's mystery arrow would have made more sense than what we were given... Speaking of not making sense, why bother introducing Hawk and Dove last issue? They were an afterthought last issue, and were practically invisible this one. Why not wait until an issue where they can actually shine? As it is now, they're just two loudmouths who got smacked around by Light. Not the best storyline here, but we've had way worse, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Teen Titans #22

Next up, we continue with the Dr. Light/Identity Crisis tie in. Last issue was a whole lotta nothing, I have to think we'll get a little bit more action come this one. Or I hope... Well, then again, it doesn't really matter to me, if it's another quickie, that'll give me more spare time to play Zelda, so I win either way!

Teen Titans #22(May 2005):

Summary: So, as expected, Dr. Light trounces the Titans because reasons. Oh, and on top of that, he seems to randomly be an energy manipulator of the highest power, once again, because reasons.
What the hell??

He shows that he can manipulate Superboy's heat vision, as well as the lightning given to Wonder Girl by Zeus. After disposing of the Titans, Dr. Light drags Speedy to Green Arrow and gloats that he's going to kill her right in front of him. Green Arrow insults Light, so he smacks him around a bit as well. And then Hawk and Dove show up... But it's definitely not the Hawk and Dove I remember, it's an all-female team, which I honestly have no recollection of... I'm not sure I get the purpose of gender swapping both of them, but here we are. Hawk and Dove try to beat up on Light, but he squashes them as well. You know, in a well run company somebody like Dr. Light would be a huge villain coming out of this storyline, the type of guy who could easily battle with the Justice League for a few months time. But then, this is DC, and I'm pretty sure this was about as high as Light would get before fading back into obscurity. With Hawk and Dove grounded(heh heh), Light looks back and sees every single living Titan there to oppose him, which ends this one.

Thoughts: I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan of the way this one went down... First off, Light was made TOO powerful here. I mean, he's manipulating energy like it's nothing! Not just light, but ALL energy! He utterly silenced the Titans, in their own book, with the Titans getting only the briefest of rallies before being put down for good. He's so powerful something like 20 people are going up against him. And with there being a zillion Titans hanging around, that means the main Titans from this comic probably won't be the ones to take Light down. Which sucks for this book. Also, it really bugs me that Light was given such a huge push right off the bat, and then just sort of fizzled out. I remember him being in this story, and then I can't say I recall him doing anything until he's killed in Final Crisis. Now, although I don't remember him showing up anywhere else, that doesn't mean he didn't humble some other heroes between this issue and his eventual death. But if I'm right, and he really didn't do anything else, that just goes and makes the Titans look even worse, as they got their asses handed to them by a guy who gets beat next issue and then does nothing.
I can't!  There's just too much!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Teen Titans #21

We continue onward with the Identity Crisis crossover. You know, the various Crisis events of the 2000's just kept getting worse and worse now that I think about it. Identity Crisis was good(or so I remember it being, who knows if it was!), Infinite Crisis was... not good, while Final Crisis was horrendous. Don't believe me, just read Superman Beyond 3D... But those all come down the road, this issue gives us the rebooted, sex criminal Dr. Light. Let's see how vastly overpowered he winds up being here!

Teen Titans #21(April 2005):

Summary: Well, this is gonna be a QUICK one! This issue gets started with Speedy arriving at Titans Tower to join the team.
Damn it Pervert Cyborg, I doubt you even have that part anymore!

Also, they're still doing that weird, “We only meet on the weekends” thing. So Speedy drops in and gets the tour from Cyborg. The team then learns that Dr. Light had taken Green Arrow hostage and that he only wanted the Teen Titans to show up, lest he kill Green Arrow.
Um, how?  Seriously, how/why would Calculator know THAT info?

Basically he wants to beat up/kill the Titans since that team always humiliated him before he got his rapist reboot. Flash(the real one, Wally West) calls the Titans to warn them that Light wasn't a pushover any longer. With that, the Titans fly out to Philadelphia and confront Light. And that's literally that.

Thoughts: Well that was brief. This was one of those comics where pretty much nothing happened. Sadly, I'm finding out that this series has a lot of those issues... We introduce Speedy to the team,
Yo mama!  Ugh, now I'm making "Yo mama" jokes in lieu of having anything else to talk about...

Light complains about how he was a joke to GA, the Titans learn that Light wanted only them, and the team confronts him. That's it! You'd think that all of those events could have filled up half a comic, maybe less, but you'd think wrong... Well, on account of me not really having anything to talk about, I guess I'll move on to the next one...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Teen Titans #20

Okay, we've made it past the whole, “Your Titans, Tomorrow!!” fiasco, and have the team back in the present(if the present was 12 years ago). According to the cover, this will be the Titans portion of Identity Crisis, which I may end up giving a reread for the blog to see if it held up better than these Teen Titans comics. For the Titans, Robin is the one who is most affected by Identity Crisis(and, I think is the only character from this book touched by that event), as his father is murdered by Fat, Old, Bald, Captain Boomerang, not to be mistaken by the version of that character that is none of those things. But since that mainly takes place in the Robin solo book, I literally have no idea what or how the Titans fit into this x-over... Let's rectify that now.

Teen Titans #20(March 2005):

Summary: Huh, okay, so this is actually taking place towards the very, VERY end of Identity Crisis, if not post. Okay, Robin's father has already died, but he decides to hang with the Titans as a way of trying to cope with his father being dead, you know, normality and all that jazz. Only Superboy knows, because, apparently, Superman is a giant gossip, but Tim convinces Superboy to keep the news to himself.
Fucking Superman!  "Hey Connor, guess what?  Robin's father is dead!!"

Oh yeah, and Starfire leaves to join the Outsiders, to which I say, meh. With so many powerhouses on the team as it is, her role here was super redundant. The Titans get called to Opal City to deal with some kids who stole a suit of Lex Luthor's armor. As they arrive, the discover that the Electrocutioner is also there trying to collect the suit for his mystery benefactor who is obviously Lex Luthor
Electrocutioner is such a great comic villain name...

. I'm not sure why that's supposed to be a surprise reveal or anything, but yeah, it's Lex trying to get it back. Lex's suit goes into some sort of automatic attack mode when Superboy is near, and gives the Titans a bit of trouble. However, Warp pops in and teleports away with the suit, returning it to Lex. Meanwhile, Robin ended up pairing off with the Electrocutioner, who figures Batman is Robin's father and starts to bad mouth Robin's father. Robin flips out on account of the whole, “My daddy's deaaaaaad!!!” thing, and beats the Electrocutioner unconscious. He then tells the Titans that his father was dead, which leads to them all fawning over him. From there we get two epilogues, one that tells us that, *gasp*, Lex Luthor WAS the one after the suit. The second has Dr. Light attacking Green Arrow.

Thoughts: This was a pretty good comic! Yeah, I know, I don't get to say that much with regards to this series, but hey, a spade is a spade, and this comic was solid. The artwork was really well done, and really did a great job showing Robin's various moods during this issue, with the tears at the end working perfectly to make the reader(in this case, me!) feel bad for Tim.
I don't know why this happened, but it makes me laugh every time.

The writing was a tad heavy-handed, as it seemed that Tim mentioned that his father was dead on every other page, but it all came together well and gave a nice little emotional scene at the end. Starfire leaving is a plus, because, as I said in the early part of this post, the team really didn't need her. One of my early gripes about this series was about how poorly made up the composition of the team was. There were too many powerhouses, several team leaders, etc. Starfire would definitely be better served with the Outsiders at this point anyway. Other than that, the next issue should be interesting, as we get the first post-Crisis appearance of the new and improved Dr. Light.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Teen Titans #19

Okay, last part of the Titans of Tomorrow junk.(HA!! When I went to post this, that was legitimately all I put here... I'm just gonna leave it like that.)

Teen Titans #19:

Summary: This frigging comic... So we learn that the Titans East(aka the worst team in existence) somehow keep the evil Titans from taking full control of America. I still have no idea how frigging Bumblebee and Batwoman are able to stop the powerhouses on the bad Titans team, but go fig. Future Bart tells the Titans East that the evil Titans had the cosmic treadmill in the Batcave, but that the bad Titans are on to him and know he's a double agent. With that, the sinister Titans arrive and attack the Titans East. We also get a scene where Dark Raven, who robbed the entire west coast of feelings of hope, is beaten by some bees. Because Geoff Johns. Meanwhile, at the Batcave, Batman is preparing to brainwash Robin into forgetting all about the bad things the Titans do in the future. Unfortunately for him, Superboy and Captain Marvel arrive to free good Tim,
Um, what kind of dumb question is that?!  He's sitting in a frigging electric chair!

but Captain Marvel is turned back to a regular guy because his powers suck. Batman knocks Superboy out of commission with the original Batman's Kryptonite ring, but is somehow defeated by Robin, even though Batman has proven to be a far superior fighter to Robin all throughout this story... Oy... The two Flashes get the treadmill up and running, which allows the Teen Titans to escape the future. With that, the team decompresses and go to Dave and Busters. For reals.

Thoughts: Well I knew this was going to be bad heading in, because there was no logical way for this story to end. One of the many problems with this storyline is the idea that the evil Titans had taken over all of America, outside of a few states that were protected by the Titans East. The problem in that is that the Titans East were a team of scrubs and jokes, while the evil Titans were basically the frigging Justice League! There was no conceivable way the Titans East ever stood a chance against the Titans, and yet, they did that and more. With the help from the Teen Titans? Sure. That actually evens up the odds plenty. But Cyborg insinuates that he had been waiting for three years for the Teen Titans to arrive, which means the evil Titans had been in control for 3 years, and yet couldn't kill Bumblebee Girl... Other than that, Cyborg tells the team not to break up due to that causing the Titans to turn evil, even though I have no frigging clue why they'd all turn evil on their own, and then get back together again... If they're all so prone to evil, won't they just turn heel faster while together? Ugh... This story... Other than that, Tim continued to act like a baby,
Yep, real mature there, Timmy.

but still ends up with the women, due to the whole Robin hotness factor. Go figure.
That is not Superboy!!!