Friday, March 24, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 1: Spider-Man Unlimited #1

So yeah, lots of Teen Titans stuff on the blog lately, si? How about we shake things up a bit? Yeah, I like that. I think it's time to add some Marvel to this blog, back when they understood their fanbase. Yes, it's time to head into the wayback machine and go back to 1993... Ah yes... 1993... Superman was dead and the Reign of Supermen had begun over in DC, while Marvel? Marvel gave us the 14 part Maximum Carnage event... And that's what I'll be taking a look at here. Here's a quick FYI before we get underway... This event is only the second storyline to include Carnage, so he was pretty new still. In his debut story, Spidey and Venom were forced to put aside their longstanding hatred for each other to defeat Carnage. So right off the bat Carnage was established as a huge threat that Spidey was unable to defeat on his own. With that backstory stuff out of the way, I think it's time to get this party started!

Maximum Carnage part 1: Spider-Man Unlimited #1

Summary: This issue gets underway with Carnage revealing to the doctors at the Ravencroft institution that he was able to produce his symbiote from his blood, meaning when the doctors go to draw blood, Carnage is reborn.
That is SO not a good sign...

Carnage happily slaughters his way through Ravencroft when he notices Shriek, who cheers Carnage on during his murder spree. After some thought, Carnage decides to free Shriek, and the two escape. Meanwhile, Spider-Man and Mary Jane attend the funeral of Harry Osborn, which leads to Spidey promising MJ that he'd take a break from doing Spidey stuff... HAHA! I can only imagine how many times he promised THAT! While swinging through Manhattan, Carnage mistakes Doppelganger for Spidey and attacks him. Shriek likes the weird-ass look of Doppel, and convinces Carnage to take Doppel along as an adopted son of sorts. With that settled, Carnage leaves his new “family” behind and heads off to attend to some personal business. Spidey heads out to pick up some Chinese food, but spots Shriek and Doppel on a rooftop and confronts them.
Why the hell is Spidey announcing his actions like this is a sporting event?

The two sides battle to a stalemate, with Spidey knocking Shriek out, but Doppel busting up Spidey's ribs before leaving with Shriek. As for Carnage, he stops by the Daily Bugle to say hello to his old hostage, J. Jonah Jameson.
Once again, this?  NOT a good sign...

Thoughts: Good stuff, good stuff. This comic was very fast paced and didn't really drag at any point. Carnage gets his symbiote back, gains two nutjobs to team with, and goes to see Jameson. As for Spidey, he meets up with Shriek and Doppelganger and is injured, which is a great way keep Spidey vulnerable in the coming issues as he faces Carnage and his crew. There were some weird moments, like MJ randomly smoking(I don't remember her going through that phase...),
Spidey's got some balls for chiding MJ on her smoking when he's nearly getting killed nightly!

Peter's parents being around(Ugh.....) and Doppel still being around after the events of Infinity War, but none of that detracts from the good in this comic. Yeah, as far as opening issues of an event go, this one hit it out of the park.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Teen Titans #6

I don't know if this is the last part of the first storyarc of the Teen Titans, or if this is the first part of the second... I mean... It's the sixth issue, and years of reading recent books tell me that most storylines go 6 issues(to better sell them as a trade), or sometimes 4, but the Deathstroke story went 5... What. The. Hell?!? I mean, I'd guess this would have been in the first trade, so I'm gonna say that it's a part of the first storyarc, if only to save what's left of my fragile psyche... Yes I obsess over really weird things... Okay, let's finish this storyline out then!

Teen Titans #6(Feb. 2004)

Summary: So Wonder Woman is pissed about Starfire offering Wonder Girl a spot on the Titans, even though Wonder Woman specifically told Starfire not to do that. Wonder Woman points that out to Starfire, who goes nuclear, half-naked alien and start shouting about how she was sold into slavery and that Wonder Girl should be able to make choices... Um, those two things are FAR from the same. Also, that's like the frigging sixth time Starfire has mentioned that in this damn series!! We get it! Now move on... So anyway, Starfire blasts Wonder Woman, which leads to the two fighting. Of course, the rest of the Justice League show up, and you KNOW what that means!!! Yes, it's the classic, “Two Heroes(and/or teams) meet, have a misunderstanding and fight!! Anyway, everybody pairs off with their mentor,
Who runs with their arms like that???  Also, who runs away spouting weird-ass shit like that?!?

except for Green Lantern, Beast Boy and Cyborg, who have no teen sidekicks...   :(   Blah blah blah, fight fight fight,

Years of reading Batman comics tells me otherwise...  He loves smacking his Robins around!

with everything halting when Nightwing, who, I guess was randomly in the neighborhood, pops up and tells everybody to chill out.
Ugh...  Bart's dialogue in this issue...  Just ugh...

And believe it or not, that actually works! The Titans are all, “Hey old dudes, let us do shizzle our own way, #lol!” While the JLA are all, “That's swell, youngsters. We just want to be involved in your lives!” And everybody agrees, I guess? I'm still puzzled by how the fight ended and the weird-ass way everybody just sort of decided to leave. Oh, and Robin tells Superboy that he is indeed half Lex Luthor, because Geoff Johns. Also, Lex Luthor was the one sending the emails to Robin. Because Geoff Johns.

Thoughts: Thoughts? Yeah, I have one, how the hell did the fight end? Nightwing pops up and tells the JLA to respect the Titans privacy, not a single member of the League agrees to do that, and everybody just leaves!! What the hell is that?! Also, much like last issue gave us a Raven Ex Machina, this issue blessed us with a Nightwing Ex Machina... I don't get why Dick was there...
What the hell expression is on Robin's face here?!  

 Like, the given reason was that he had overheard “Wonder Woman's problem” on his JLA communicator and showed up, but why was he out in California in the first place? He lives in frigging New Jersey! It's not like he was out walking Bat-Dog and saw the fight happening across the street, he was, literally, the entire country away!! I just don't know with these comics anymore... It's like Johns isn't even trying!! Oh, and then we get Robin revealing to Superboy that he took tests, and Superboy is definitely half Lex Luthor, which gives us this gem by Superboy, and I quote, “I've got a fifty-fifty chance of growing up to be the world's greatest hero---or the world's greatest villain...” No! No you don't!! He's not Superman OR Lex Luthor!! How... Why would he just randomly become pure evil?!? Because Lex is? So?! It's not like Superboy lived the exact same life as Lex, and as such grew up just like him! Ugh... This issue was such a disaster! I'm almost afraid to find out what the next issue is gonna bring...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Teen Titans #5

We're still rolling through the first storyline in the Teen Titans series from the early 00's. Or aughts. Ugh, what an ugly word. I'd have went with the zeroes, personally, that sounds way cooler than the aughts. That sounds like something a toad would say or something. This is what happens when people don't ask my opinion of the important things! Speaking of which, here's the final part of that Titans story.

Teen Titans #5(Jan. 2004)

Summary: The Young Justice Titans lay the literal smackdown on Deathstroke's candy ass, with Superboy preparing to finish the baddie off. However, Jericho manages to jump out of Deathstroke's body and into Superboy's. Superboy goes on a bit of a rampage, which allows the older “Teen” Titans to show up. This leads to Jericho jumping into Kid Flash, followed by Starfire, before Raven randomly arrives on the scene. Raven absorbs(I guess) Jericho, thus ending his threat. She spouts a bunch of nonsense(with I'm sure tons more coming when we get to her storyline...) before she is forcibly teleported away.
Yeah, I ask myself that same question often while reading these comics...

With that, we find out that Deathstroke escaped in the confusion, and the Teen Titans head home. Bart reveals that he's Kid Flash now because he's going to be the Flash one day, just like his grandpappy(I'm personally stunned it took Geoff Johns a whole 5 issues before he somehow worked Barry Allen's cursed name into this). Wonder Girl and Superboy discuss their relationship, which leads to a kiss,
Why did we need 2 panels for the kiss?  I mean, I totally got what was happening in that first panel...

a kiss that is rudely interrupted by the arrival of an angry Wonder Woman, who tells Cassie she didn't want her associating with the Teen Titans.

Summary: I was getting into this issue with the Jericho body jumping stuff. You know, wondering how the Titans would defeat him. However, we get a literal Deus Ex Machina here as Raven inexplicably pops up, gets rid of Jericho and disappears as quickly... Now THAT is some lazy-ass writing! I mean, she literally shows up, solves the problem and leaves! So yeah, that was a letdown to what was a pretty good fight. From there we get our first Wonder Girl/Superboy kiss of the series, as well as Bart sort of/kind of explaining why he was Kid Flash now, “Well, I read a lot of books, and don't want people to think I'm impulsive anymore, so viola!” Impulse is one of my all time favorite characters, but the wild change in Bart's attitude doesn't bug me much because the two Barts are SO different I consider them completely different characters. Come the next issue we're going to get a JLA appearance, followed by, I'm guessing, that Raven story... And THAT is something I am dreading!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Teen Titans #4

We're almost through with the first Teen Titans story arc, and wound up with an interesting(-ish) cliffhanger last issue. But that was pretty much all we got, as that last issue was largely forgettable. Here's hoping this one turns out to be a bit more exciting!

Teen Titans #4(Dec. 2003)

Summary: Things get started with Deathstroke taking advantage of last issue's revelation by turning the tables on Beast Boy and Cyborg, leading to their defeat.
Yep, you called it, this definitely gets a ♪Wah Wah

However, Deathstroke, or Jericho, or whatever you want to call him, doesn't strike the killing blow because... Um, reasons, I guess. The Young Justice Titans head to the hospital to see their fallen teammate, Impulse, but learn that Impulse had already been checked out, and that he headed to the library. The group heads to the library, where they are ignored by Impulse, who is reading every book in the place. While that's going on, Wonder Girl is given a lasso similar to Wonder Woman's by Ares, leaving Wonder Girl confused.
Well, if you don't want it, why the hell did you take it??

Deathstroke heads into the library and attacks Robin, trouncing him in battle.
Dammit Deadpool, leave him alone...  Oh wait, this is DC...  Whoops!

Deathstroke goes to shoot Robin in the head(even though he had the chance to kill a Titan earlier and didn't take it...), but the bullet is plucked out of the air by Impulse, who is now dressed in the Kid Flash duds.

Summary: This issue was a lot like the last one, in that not a whole lot went on. Like, literally the entire first half was the Young Justice Titans going to the hospital, then the library, the Ares/Wonder Girl stuff, and the end of the fight between Beast Boy and Cyborg. It was a lot of empty pages. As for what was in here, I liked the Ares/Wonder Girl interaction, mainly because I really like DC's version of Ares(way more than the Marvel version), and I'm kind of intrigued to see what the deal with the lasso is. The Deathstroke/Robin fight went as expected... Or did it??? I mean, there's no doubt Slade would KO Robin in the first round of a fight between the two, but I thought this was Jericho wearing Slade's body... Which would make me think that the fight would be more tilted in Robin's favor, since I don't see Jericho in Robin's league fighting-wise. I guess Jericho keeps Slade's muscle memory and fighting skills while possessing him? Which doesn't really make sense, but that's DC for ya. Either that or Deathstroke is lying about being possessed, which would make all of those thoughts above meaningless. Besides that, the big news was Impulse turning into Kid Flash, which I'm pretty meh to. Johns obviously doesn't want to write Bart like the way he was portrayed in the Impulse solo series or Young Justice, so I guess he might as well change his name/personality. I'm still waiting for an explanation on why Bart randomly decided to become Kid Flash(as well as where he found an old Kid Flash costume...), but I'm guessing that will come with time. Maybe.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Teen Titans #3

Okay, last issue we found out that Deathstroke was going to be the main villain in this first story arc. Impulse was also shot in the knee, which I recall leads to him turning into Kid Flash, even though I don't remember the specifics of that... Like, how does getting kneecapped lead to one taking on a new(old) persona? Other than the most likely excuse, there was a Kid Flash in the 50's/60's, so Geoff Johns needed there to be one around now!!!!11!!!1!!1!!!! On with the show!!

Teen Titans #3(Nov. 2003)

Summary: We kick things off with Cyborg rushing Impulse to the hospital so he could get his leg worked on. While Cyborg and Beast Boy wait at the hospital, Starfire shows the rest of the Young Justice Titans the Teen Titans memorial room, as well as tells them that they weren't allowed to go rushing off to find Deathstroke... Also, Robin seemed to know what Deathstroke said to Impulse prior to shooting him, which is weird because I doubt Impulse would be coherent enough to relay a message after being shot in the knee, but what evs. Robin lies to Starfire about not leaving, and then sneaks off with Superboy and Wonder Girl.
Um, good to know?

Meanwhile, the church of Blood seem to have resurrected Raven(Ugh...). Back to this issue, Beast Boy picks up Deathstroke's scent at the hospital, which leads to Cyborg and Beast Boy attacking the merc. The two Titans handle Deathstroke, which causes Deathstroke to reveal that it was actually Jericho controlling Deathstroke's body.

Thoughts: This was a pretty slow issue. It was a whole lotta nothing, followed by the Deathstroke/Titans fight, and the cliffhanger reveal. And that's basically it. We see that Raven seems to be trapped/possessed by Brother Blood's minions, which I really don't care much about. Raven was always such a meh character to me, so I'm not really keen on seeing her pop up. Starfire got to look like an idiot in this issue, as she was easily outsmarted by Robin with a simple lie. But then, I doubt they keep Starfire around for her brains anyway... Huh, I literally can't think of anything else that happened here... Ah well, on to the next one!
Jeez, this comic was so slow I don't even have any more pics to post...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Teen Titans #2

Okay, a new day, a new Teen Titans review. The first issue saw Geoff Johns doing what Geoff Johns does, shit all over the past work of other writers. Will that trend continue? Will Batman continue being weird regarding Tim Drake's personal life? Will Cyborg actually show up? Will Beast Boy continue perving on underage girls? The answer to all that and more will be revealed... Now!

Teen Titans #2(Oct. 2003)

Summary: We start off by seeing that Deathstroke is crazy again.
Human head as a trophy?  Insanity confirmed.

Next up, Robin acts creepy and steals some of Superboy's hair from a towel after Superboy tells him to forget about the whole, “Half Lex Luthor” thing.
Picking hair from your best friend's bath towel?  Creepiness confirmed.

Wonder Girl decides that joining up with the Teen Titans was a mistake and is prepared to leave, at least until the Titans hear an explosion at nearby Alcatraz Island. The full team(minus Cyborg, who waits to make a more dramatic appearance later) rush over to help clear the tourists from the burning prison island. With the tourists clear, Beast Boy and Cyborg go to work on putting out the fires.
But...  Where did all that water come from?

Bart Allen/Impulse/Kid Flash heads in to do a sweep to make sure there are no stragglers still in the building, but gets hit by a dart that temporarily paralyzes him.
Bart Allen, fastest of the Titans is the one who gets shot with a dart...  Thanks, DC.  Also, isn't it moths to a flame??

Deathstroke then strolls over, tells Bart to inform the Titans that he didn't want to see any more kids running around in costumes, and proceeds to shoot Bart in the knee with a shotgun, ending this issue.

Thoughts: I don't remember what pushed Deathstroke over the edge this time around. I'm gonna guess that Ravager or Jericho was dead and he went crazy mourning, but I'm blanking on which was the more likely scenario in 2003. I'm gonna guess it was Jericho. I know he went evil in the 90's, and I think he died as a result. But then, I also know he was back by the early 10's, so I'm not exactly sure. Oh well, I guess I'll find out going forward(probably). This issue did put a few wheels in motion, we find out who the first big bad of the series is(Deathstroke is always a great choice), Bart begins the process of becoming Kid Flash, and the Titans begin to form into a team. Sure there was some cringe-worthy stuff in here, like the scene between Bart and Cassie *shudder*,
In other words, "I jack it to you nightly.  You cool with that?"

or any scene Beast Boy was in, but overall, a good showing.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Teen Titans #1

Okay, quick story time... Me and JT were talking about the blog and we figured I'd review a full series of something. Basically the main two choices wound up being Young Justice(late 90's) or Teen Titans(early 00's). In the end we decided to go with the Titans series, mainly because it's the series I least wanted to read, and as such would almost definitely have more things to poke fun at. Plus, since JT and I both have access to the full series, as I review, JT can read along and put in his ill-informed two cents. Alright, with that out of the way, let's take a gander at the 2003 version of the Titans.

Teen Titans #1(September 2003)

Summary: Oh hell... It's the Geoff Johns show... So we kick things off with Superboy now living in Smallville and going to Smallville High. He hates it and skips class, which leads to him bumping into Superman who scolds him for ditching class, but invites him to the newest incarnation of the Teen Titans, led by Cyborg(who is not a teen... Just sayin'...). Similar scenes play out between Batman and Robin, The True Flash, Wally West and Impulse, as well as Starfire and Wonder Girl. The kids are all angsty about joining due to Donna Troy dying the last time they did a team thing, but all decide to go through with it.
No means no, Bart!!

Come Friday, the Titans all meet up at the new Titans Tower in San Fran, but are all weird around each other. Come the middle of the night, Superboy and Robin meet up(TRYST!!!), with Robin getting an email informing him that Superboy was now the clone of Superman and... Lex Luthor. Why? Because Geoff Johns.
This seems like how a super-hero themed porno would start...

Thoughts: Deep breaths, X... You can get through this... Basically, Johns does what he always seems to do, he takes things back to the rocking 1950's! Superboy goes from living on his own in either New York or Metropolis(I forget which, it's been a bit since I read the Superboy series) to randomly living in Smallville, so he could live with the Kents and go to Smallville High, just like Superman did in the 50's! And don't even get me started on the Superboy being a clone of Lex Luthor thing, even though it was clearly established that wasn't the case in the Superboy series. The very same Superboy series where a certain Geoff Johns wrote in to the editor saying that they should make Superboy the clone of Lex Luthor... Yep, that's a real thing that happened. So as usual, Johns came in and went all nuclear fanboy on shit. Outside of that, there really wasn't too much going on. This issue served it's purpose in getting the kids together, as well as introducing us to Starfire, Cyborg and Beast Boy, who are serving as the senior members of the team. That kind of always bugged me too, the fact that there were senior members of this squad.
"We're not gonna judge you...  Except for all those times we do..."

The original Titans didn't have anybody looking over their shoulders, nor did Young Justice, which is where this comic spun from. So why would these characters agree to do exactly what they were doing in Young Justice, but with Cyborg and that creepy-ass Beast Boy supervising them?
Dude, you're like 20-something!  No es bueno!

I don't get that. I also don't get the weird way Batman was written here. “You need friends...”?! What the hell Batman is THAT?!
Mind your own damn business, Bruce!

Ugh. Welp, if nothing else I can at least say this, one issue down, 99 to go!