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!!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 14: Spider-Man Unlimited #2

And this is it! The final part of the Maximum Carnage saga. We ended up in a threeway dance between Spidey, Venom and Carnage. Basically, Carnage and Venom will be trying to kill each other, while Spidey attempts to arrest the other two with a minimum of murder. Basically, since Venom was in the midst of all of those mini-series he used to get from Marvel, the only logical conclusion for this series was either a) Venom kills Carnage and escapes, or b) Spidey captures Carnage and Venom escapes. I think we all know which option we're getting here...

Maximum Carnage part 14: Spider-Man Unlimited #2:

Summary: It turns out Carnage's brains are still pretty scrambled from the giant gun he was blasted by in part 13, which causes him to run away from Spidey and Venom before the battle is truly begun. Spidey tries to convince Venom not to kill Carnage, which earns Spidey a few more broken ribs from an annoyed Venom.
"Shut ya mouth, bitch!" Is what Venom wanted to say here.

Realizing he was badly hurt, Spidey has MJ bring him a change of clothes so he could go to the hospital and get patched up. From there, we see Not-Spawn and Morbius say good bye to each other... That's nice, I guess... Meanwhile, Carnage and Venom go on the Carnage tour '93, with stops at the prison cell the two once shared, as well as Carnage's old orphanage.
Don't say Venom never did anything for Carnage. 

The next day(?!), Spidey decides to go after Carnage after some healing, and gets MJ's blessing this time. Spidey magically knows where Carnage and Venom are fighting, and heads to the orphanage just in time to stop Venom from killing Carnage. Venom attacks Spidey, which allows Carnage to escape. Venom and Spidey put aside their differences(for like the 50th time this event) and find Carnage at a cemetery, digging up his own mother's grave.
Carnage's ghosts are real jerks...

Venom and Carnage fight once more, with Spidey, once again, halting Venom from killing Carnage. However, this time he manages to get through to Venom by stating that due to Carnage's sucky upbringing, he never had a chance, and was therefore one of the innocents that Venom was pledged to protect. While Venom is pondering that one, Carnage attacks Spidey, who is saved by Black Cat, who gets a chance to redeem herself after she basically quit the fight early on. Carnage finally begins to shake the cobwebs loose, which causes Venom and tackle Carnage into some electrical generators(at a graveyard!?), leading to a massive explosion.
The end.

Spidey and Black Cat find a symbiote-less Carnage unconscious in the fire, but can't find Venom, who had snuck away and decides to let Spidey handle Carnage while he heads back to San Francisco. Spidey has the Avengers drop in to take Carnage away, and that, my friends, is the end of Maximum Carnage.


Thoughts: Whew, what a ride THAT was! Overall I'd call this a pretty good, if REALLY bloated, event. I can't go higher than “pretty good” due to all of the dead spots, as well as the final two parts. I wasn't a fan of part 13, and this issue wasn't much better. There were so many odd things going on here, like Venom chasing Carnage for the entire night while Spidey rests up, at which time the Avengers NEVER go out to find Carnage, even though it's established that they were back from space, or wherever the hell they were hiding during this storyline. Spidey just happening across Carnage at the orphanage is another headscratcher... If Spidey knew Venom and Carnage would be fighting there, why couldn't the Avengers?
I love all the little details in this panel.  

Or hell, why wasn't Spidey traveling WITH the Avengers? He wasn't a full-time member back in the day(frigging Bendis...), but would have been a reserve. And of course, who can forget the end of the battle, a giant explosion that roasts Carnage's costume to nothing, while Venom manages to hide in the back of a pick-up truck, costume fully functional. So yeah, not a lot of good things happening in this issue. With that said, I did like the look at Deathwatch and Morbius, since they weren't on Spidey's team during the final battle against Carnage's family in part 13. I also REALLY liked Black Cat showing up in the end, as I was totally surprised by that one. As I was reading this issue I was even thinking before she showed up that she had come out of this event looking really weak/terrible. So kudos to the 4-headed writing team to give Cat a chance to get a little shine. This was also, sadly, the last time Carnage was a monstrous threat to Spidey. I'm pretty sure his next appearance is in a Spidey annual, in which Spidey defeats Carnage on his own, no allies needed. Bottom line? I have to say that I enjoyed reading and reviewing this event, there was just enough good, bad and comically terrible to keep me sated. So good job, Marvel!
HA!  Give it a few years, Spidey, and they'll both be back.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Teen Titans #18

So the last issue was kind of a tale of two comics. There was the really good comic that occupied the first several pages of that issue, and then there was the ending... Which I already picked apart in the last post, so I'll refrain from saying anything more about it. Honestly, I kind of expect this issue to follow the path laid out with the end of the last issue, which would NOT be a good thing...

Teen Titans #18:

Summary: Superboy warns the Teen Titans that their older counterparts were evil and whatnot, which leads them to attempt an escape. Meanwhile, Deathstroke gets free from the older Titans with the old, “Look under my eyepatch...” rouse... Why would anybody fall for that?! Slade runs into the younger Titans just long enough to allow the older ones to arrive on the scene, which allows Slade to make good his escape, with some help from Not-Kid Flash, who turned on the older Titans.
Bart and Ravager?  That's an... odd couple right there...

The Teen Titans decide to go to the Flash museum in Keystone, but older Dark Raven interrupts the teleport, causing Robin(and ONLY Robin) to be left behind. Batman(who is literally the only Titan outside of Dark Raven who has a name) takes his younger self to the Batcave and the Arkham Asylum cemetery to show how sucky the world had become, and tries to justify his, and the older Titans actions. Tim decides to fight, but loses to his older self.
What the hell kind of a fight is going on here?!

Back in Keystone, Bart tries to find the cosmic treadmill so the Teen Titans could return to their proper place in the time stream, but finds it isn't there. They set off an alarm and run into the Titans East, which is Cyborg's good(but terrible looking) team.


Thoughts: Ugh, I knew this issue would suck...
Shouldn't Bart have come up with an excuse for his whereabouts before arriving?

I just knew it due to the way the last one ended... On the plus side, this comic had a nice, fast pace to it, so it didn't really drag in any one place. On the negative side... Well, how much time do I have? I mean, we can start with the fact that Johns doesn't bother to actually NAME any of the older Titans outside of Batman and Dark Raven. Beast Boy randomly calls his older self Animal Man, but we are never privy of Beast Boy learning why his older self has that name. As for the rest, I can only assume they are Wonder Woman and Random Telepath Lady. Continuing on, Dark Raven interrupts Raven's teleportation, which leads to Robin getting knocked free of his teammates... How does THAT work? I guess the only answer is that the hammer of convenience struck again, leaving the Titans leader with his younger self. Arkham is a graveyard, where Bruce Wayne is buried(?!?), along with all of his enemies... Why the flaming hell would Tim bury Bruce THERE?! With the goddamn Joker!! Finally, Cyborg's team looks like the lamest gathering of losers I have ever seen!
It's Cyborg and the Ladies!

How the hell did the older Titans not sweep those scrubs up ages ago!? Yeah, this wasn't the best comic I've ever read...

Friday, May 12, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 13: Spectacular Spider-Man #203

The end is near!! This issue should just about wrap this story up. The heroes have rallied, while the villains have fought among themselves and weakened their numbers. I'd guess Carnage's crew gets defeated here, leaving Carnage to battle the heroes in the 14th and final part of this event. Why I'd want to read that considering Carnage would have to beat like 10 heroes, I don't know, but maybe this issue will do a great job on selling me on the final part.

Maximum Carnage part 13: Spectacular Spider-Man #203:

Summary: This issue opens with Dagger telling the heroes how she returned to life. She became a being of pure light and lived in Cloak's... um, cloak, blah, blah, blah. Shriek is uber pissed to see Dagger alive, and challenges her. Both sides stand by and allow Shriek and Dagger to go at it in what I guess is the co-main event of the evening. Dagger ends up downing Shriek, and tries to pacify Shriek's madness, but is unable to reach through. That leads to Shriek almost blasting Dagger to death(again...), if not for a timely save by Spider-Man. Carnage's team regroups and quickly realize that all of the heroes save for Spidey had turned tail and run off. Spidey tells the villains that the others may be afraid of Carnage and company, but the he wasn't and would defeat them alone if he had to. The villains then batter Spidey to near unconscious, which is kind of hilarious after his speech. Before Spidey can get hit by the killing blow, swerve!, the rest of the heroes return with a really big gun, and blast the bad guys.
Giant robot-looking dude shooting a massive gun?  Yep, it's the 90's alright. 

The gun forces the bad guys to... be good? I guess that works. So yeah, the gun makes the villains feel good thoughts instead of evil, which freaks Carnage out, causing him to strain against the blast, which leads to an explosion. When the dust clears, Carnage is dead, although his symbiote is conveniently covering his face... Dun dun dun!! A bit later on, Venom confronts Spidey alone and yells at him for stealing the glory of killing Carnage. Luckily for Venom, Carnage emerges from a nearby pond, giving Venom his shot at revenge.
This event...  Must continue!!!

Thoughts: This issue was kinda on the dumb side. Let's start with Spidey's plan first. So Spidey was the one who came up with the concept of the “good gun” to counter Shriek's evil psychic energy. The gun was put together at Rand Industries, which is Iron Fist's company. So far so good, although I do take issue at the whole “good gun” thing. Now here's where it gets dumb. Why did ALL of the heroes have to go to get the gun, especially since it was Deathlok who was going to fire it. Couldn't Deathlok and maybe two other people go to get the gun while the others remained behind to battle Carnage, instead of Spidey playing the martyr? As usual. No wonder MJ was always mad at him back then... So the good gun leads to an explosion due to Carnage fighting the good waves that were coming from it. Just that last sentence tells you how dumb this issue was. Anyway, the gun explodes and the heroes find “Carnage” dead. “Carnage's” body has barely any symbiote on it, except for the face, which has a totally intact Carnage mask on...
Clearly that's Carnage, and clearly he's dead.

And the heroes brought that this was Carnage?! Ugh... And so this entire event ends up as a threeway fight between Spidey, Venom and Carnage, exactly how the first Carnage story ended... This was a whole lot of story just to get us to where we were the last time Carnage fought Spidey and Venom...  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Teen Titans #17

Okay, that bizarre Legion story thing is out of the way, and this coming storyline is actually one of my all-time favs, the alternate dimension story!! As a kid I was a huge fan of the Marvel What If?! comics, and also loved the Age of Apocalypse story. So in theory, I SHOULD really enjoy these next few issues... But you know, DC gonna DC, so I'm not exactly expecting a blow away story.

Teen Titans #17(December 2004):

Summary: So we head ten years into the future, where we learn that the Titans are a more hardcore group, think more the Punisher than Spider-Man, what with murdering their enemies and what-not.
Look at that tiny hole in the gun!  What does it shoot, BBs?

As for our Teen Titans, they wind up at Titans Tower 10 years from now, and rapidly realize that something isn't right.
Considering Conner completely turns his back on Supes in this timeline, that's a good question.

That gets hammered home when they meet and battle against their older selves. Old Kid Flash, who seems to remember this moment, while his compatriots do not, manages to get a ceasefire between the two teams.
Old Kid Flash is kinda badass.

After talking to and learning how the younger Teen Titans were there, the older Titans tell them to rest for the night and that they'd figure out a way to send them back to the future the following day. Superboy decides to talk to his older self(Superboyman?) to ask him if having Lex Luthor's genes will make him evil, because he's clearly a moron. Before he can ask anything though, he stumbles across the older Titans torturing Deathstroke.


Thoughts: Dammit, Geoff Johns! There was SO much good here, but he had to go and ruin it all in the end! I mean, I was digging the story all the way through, and then Superboy happened across the torture scene. Which was so dumb! First off, we've established that the older Titans have Aqua-Lady/Girl/Lass/Woman, who is a telepath. On top of that, she has no problem figuring out from Tim's mind that he was Tim Drake, even though, you'd assume, Tim has had mental training, and/or something to baffle telepathy in/on his costume. So she has to be a relatively powerful telepath. Plus you have Raven, who can seemingly do whatever the situation calls for. On top of that, they have Superboyman and Beast Guy, who have enhanced hearing and smell. Plus, Tim as the Batman, who can do Batman-y sorts of things.
Yeah, you say that now, but wait like 6 years.  Battle for the Cowl anybody?

And yet, NONE of them could hear/sense Superboy wandering around?!? Plus, how dumb are the older Titans to decide to torture somebody while their younger selves are around? Especially since they know, and stated, that their younger selves wouldn't approve of such behavior. Why not send them back to the past immediately, or, I don't know, NOT torture somebody for the ONE night the Teen Titans are around?! Ugh... Plus, and I know this is nitpicking, but Superboy's hair was back to normal here, after he had grown it out during his time in the future. Now, I wouldn't even mention this(or honestly have noticed it!), had Bart not commented on it in the last issue... Why bring it up if you were just going to draw it how it always is here? That's just editorial sloppiness. Jeez, I really went on quite the trip here, didn't I? Um, bottom line? This was a really, really good comic, with a really dumb ending.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 12: Spider-Man #37

We've almost made it to the end! This is the twelfth part(!!!) of Maximum Carnage, which means we only have three comics left(for those of you who are mathematically challenged). After reading through this event thus far, I personally don't see why this wasn't an 8 or 10 part event, 14 just seems excessive. Okay, let's do it.

Maximum Carnage part 12: Spider-Man #37:

Summary: Venom finally manages to escape from Carnage by... I'm not really sure, to be honest... He tricked Carnage into firing the sonic blaster at him, and had a piece of his symbiote sneak inside, so when Carnage blasted, Venom's costume came out(??)strengthening Venom enough to leave. Carnage is none too pleased by that occurrence.
That's like me when I lose at Madden...

Meanwhile, Cloak talks to himself in a church. The heroes spend literally the entire issue fighting the crowds of people that Shriek has driven to violence. Carnage turns up and prepares to attack Shriek for killing people without his permission. That causes Doppelganger to attack Carnage, who responds by killing Doppelganger.
I really liked Doppel as a kid...  I even had a Doppelganger toy.

While that all played out, Spidey and company were able to clear the streets of the rioters due to Shriek being distracted by Carnage. This one comes to a close with Cloak teleporting to the scene with the no longer dead Dagger.

Summary: RIP, Doppelganger... You shall be missed. So this issue gave us Doppel getting killed and Dagger coming back to life. Thus strengthening the heroes side and weakening the villains. At this point, Carnage is barely limping to the finish line. Doppel is dead and Demogoblin seems ready to leave at the drop of a hat, which leaves Carnage with Shriek and Carrion versus Spidey, Firestar, Deathlok, Captain America, Iron Fist, Cloak, Dagger and Venom... Those are not the best of odds for Carnage.
Um, you outnumber the villains by like 3-1, that's the opposite of hopeless...

Next up, we get the big throwdown with the remaining villains and the plethora of heroes.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Teen Titans #16.5

So this isn't exactly an issue of Teen Titans, per se, but does directly tie into and finish the story that was started in issue number sixteen. Issue number seventeen(I don't know why I'm spelling out "number" here... I never do that...) begins a whole new story, so since I looked at issue sixteen, I figure I might as well tackle this one as well. So, with that said, I dub this issue Teen Titans #16.5.

Teen Titans/Legion Special #1, aka Teen Titans #16.5:

Summary: Considering the fact that they're a tad outnumbered by the Fatal Five-Hundred, the Titans and the Legion fall back to an early version of the Legion's home base. While there, Brainiac 5 reveals a Cosmic Treadmill of sorts that needed to be powered by Kid Flash and Xs(what a dumb name, unlike X), which would send all of the alternate Fatal Five members back to their home dimensions.
Thanks for the exposition there, Bart.

Before we get to the running portion of this comic, Bart makes a quick trip to say hi to his mom,
HA!!  Give it a few years and DC will forget all about Bart!  Also, who tells their mom not to forget them?

while Superboy gets to be all angsty about which team he wanted to stay with. While the speedsters are running on the treadmill, the Fatal Five-Hundred attack. They are unable to stop the speedsters, and as such are sent back to their own dimensions... But wait! In the most egregious “because Geoff Johns” we've ever had in one of these Teen Titans comics, Superboy Prime's reality punching disrupts things and pulls both teams into limbo... I think?
I still can't believe Johns told DC, "Yeah, so Superboy Prime punches reality and stuff happens!" And then DC went forward with that!! 

I honestly don't have a frigging clue by this point! Long story short, the Titans get sent back in time, while the Legion gets lost in the time stream, because they do the whole “Legion Lost” thing so damn well. That ends this story, but the comic continues with a look at the Threeboot Legion, which I won't bother writing up since it has nothing to do with the Titans.


Thoughts: This was one of the weirdest comic series launch ideas you'll ever read! I mean, DC is all, “Hey, we're relaunching the Legion, AGAIN, read this crossover with the Teen Titans to see the third version of the Legion!” So cool, I do that and then DC is all, “Swerve!! Instead, you'll read a crossover between the Titans and the second version of the Legion that won't help sell any of the new Legion books, noob!” And then as a bizarre afterthought, we get an 8 page preview of Legion #1 at the end that has zero connection to anything I just read... That's so frigging baffling to me! Why not introduce the Threeboot Legion in THIS storyline, that way they can make new fans? Instead, the Reboot Legion, who are getting wiped out of DC with this story for all intents and purposes, gets the spotlight... Why give the team that's disappearing the shine when they can't benefit from it! This should have been a great way to get fans excited to read about the Threeboot Legion, instead, the whole thing was DC'd up, as per usual with that company...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 11: Amazing Spider-Man #380

I can't believe this look back at Maximum Carnage is almost over! I have to say, it's been a lot of fun going back to the dizzy 90's to see Spidey. And, I've decided what I'll be checking out after Maximum Carnage is finished up here... Stay tuned for that.

Maximum Carnage part 11: Amazing Spider-Man #380:

Summary: Morbius and Not-Spawn follow Demogoblin and Doppelganger to Carnage's base in the Statue of Liberty's torch. We get a brief tussle, but Not-Spawn has to rapidly leave with Morbius due to the sun rising. Meanwhile, Shriek randomly attacks people and things by her lonesome. Spidey, Captain America, Deathlok, Firestar and Iron Fist spot her and defeat her with ease.
This feels like the writer of this comic was thinking, "Well, Deathlok should say SOMETHING..."

And then the comic falls COMPLETELY off the rails... We get several pages of the exact same scene playing out... It's sort of like this, Normal New Yorker, “Gragh!! I'm going to loot this store!!” Iron Fist approaches, ”Now now, you don't want to loot that store, looting is bad.” Normal New Yorker, “Hey, you're right! Why was I even doing this?!” A rendition of that very scene plays out for EVERY single hero in this comic!! Every one! With Shriek still gone, Carnage sends Doppel and Demo out to find her, which they do.
HA!!  The flame "torturing" Venom is so tiny!!

That leads to a fight between the heroes and the villains, which ends when... Oh god... The people of New York yell at Shriek for making them evil with her powers. Shriek gets pissed about that, and uses her amplification powers to their max, making the people bloodthirsty again and setting them after out heroes.


Thoughts: Yeah, this was easily the worst issue of Maximum Carnage. Like, by a clear mile. Here's just a random example of how bad this issue was. Spidey stops a women from chucking her kids off an apartment rooftop by asking her to stop. That snaps her out of Shriek's thrall. Later on, the same woman is in the crowd of people heckling Shriek about making them turn evil...
"Fuck that Captain America guy, Spidey set us straight!"

But how does that woman know Shriek did any thing to her? She was never told by Spidey. I don't recall any of the heroes telling any of the people they “saved” that Shriek was responsible. All of a sudden, a mob gathered and started yelling at Shriek for things they shouldn't know about! Ugh... And then there's the Peter/MJ stuff..... So this issue gets underway with Peter bemoaning the fact that MJ didn't give him her “blessing” to go out and be a super-hero. Peter then saves the woman on the roof with the kids and is all, “Well shit, if I weren't here, those kids would be dead, ergo, MJ is wrong and stupid” Sure, Spidey saved the woman, but his logic that only he could have saved the kids is faulty at best, as he has no way of knowing one of his teammates wouldn't have made the save. And then later, MJ is with Peter's family and the Osborns watching the fight play out and sees that the crowd had turned on Shriek, which makes her think, “Well shit, if it wasn't for Peter being there, those people would be stealing stuff and having sex with fire hydrants and whatnot. Ergo, I am wrong and stupid.”
The moral of this story?  Peter is always right, and MJ is always wrong.
Let's REALLY hammer home how wrong and stupid MJ is...  This frigging comic.....


The way MJ, who had a valid point about Peter being reckless, was just brushed off was really annoying and a bit insulting... For some reason her worrying about her husband during this storyline makes her the bad guy, with this issue hammering that point home by MJ realizing she was in the wrong. Even though she isn't! UGH! I need to end this post before I continue ranting for several more minutes. At least the next issue has to be better than this one! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Teen Titans #16

Okay, we're finished with the Beast Boy storyline (HUZZAH!!) and are moving on to a quick little Legion crossover... Ah yes, the Legion of Super-Heroes... Another favorite of 1950's boy, Geoff Johns. In this instance though, this is the newest incarnation of the Legion(the Threebooted version), that's being written by the hugely talented Mark Waid. Considering how much Johns obviously hated the threeboot Legion, this must have been torture for him. Well, enough foreplay, let's get down to business!

Teen Titans #16:

Summary: Huh, this was not at all what I expected... So Superboy and Wonder Girl go on a date,
Ah X-Ray vision...  Such an underrated power...

but Superboy winds up getting pulled into the future, where he spends the next 5 months with little memories, palling around with the SECOND incarnation of the Legion, not the third. That's super confusing to me, but I'll get to that in the “Thoughts” section. For Cassie though, Superboy is only gone for scant seconds, and comes back out of the portal practically unconscious. Cassie flies Superboy to the Titans, but the team finds themselves under attack by Legion enemy, Persuader. After a bit of a tussle, Persuader retreats into a portal, and Superboy hands out Legion flight rings to the Titans before heading into Persuader's portal. The Titans meet the Legion and head towards their planet-sized base, but the artificial planet explodes and begins to fall to Earth.
What the hell did Cassie think she was gonna say?  His pants?  Also, once again, Cassie is randomly a bitch.

This issue ends with Superboy telling the Titans that the Legion wasn't battling against the Fatal Five(who are enemies of the Legion), but the Fatal Five Hundred.

Thoughts: Yeah, so this issue confused the hell out of me... I KNOW this story ends up spinning into the Threeboot Legion, and yet they were nowhere to be found... Instead we got the Reboot Legion. Now, after this issue there's a Teen Titans/Legion special comic, which I guess will explain things? Probably? But yeah, the lack of the Legion I was expecting was sort of jarring. As for this comic? Meh. I really don't have anything to even say... Superboy disappeared, reappeared, and wound up taking the Titans to the future. I'm not sure what Persuader's deal was with the Titans, other than leaving a portal open for them to go to the future. He was going after Superboy, but you'd think he'd have his hands full, what with his 499 teammates destroying the Earth in the future and all. Speaking of which, I love that Superboy headed back to get the Titans to help him against the 500 bad guys running amok in the future. I know if I needed help fighting a gang of 500, I'd definitely ask the green guy who can turn into a rat as opposed to Superman... Also, the irony of a group called Legion being outnumbered and needing more people isn't lost on me either...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Maximum Carnage Part 10: Web of Spider-Man #103

Maximum Carnage part 9 was possibly the best part of this entire story thus far. Considering how mediocre the past several issues prior to that had been, that's super impressive. Besides that, we're really in the home stretch now, as we've reached double digits! Part 9 shook up a lot of things, let's see what part 10 does for an encore.

Maximum Carnage Part 10: Web of Spider-Man #103:

Summary: Picking up from the last part, Spidey and Firestar are in Avengers Mansion with Captain America strategizing. Carnage and Shriek are torturing the helpless Venom, while Black Cat, Morbius and Cloak had gone after Carnage's crew, splitting from Spidey and Firestar. Doppelganger, Demogoblin, and Carrion are sent by Carnage to deal with the pursuing heroes. The three villains encounter the three heroes, which gives us yet another donnybrook. The villains take control, but Nightwatch(!!?!!) shows up to help out the good guys.
What's Spawn doing in the Marvel Comics Zone!!??

Demogoblin decides to have his group beat a hasty retreat, with Nightwatch and Morbius following them.
Oh wait, it's Marvel character, Not-Spawn...  Nevermind...

As for Cloak and Black Cat, Cat decides to head home to heal up a bit, while Cloak needs to do some soul searching. Over at Avengers Mansion, Cap catches Deathlok and Iron Fist trying to hack into Avengers files for information about Carnage. This leads to Cap inviting Deathlok and Iron Fist to join with himself, Spidey and Firestar.
One guess on which one of these characters never made the Avengers.


Thoughts: There was also a scene with Spidey heading home to see Mary Jane, but it wasn't anything we haven't already seen in this event. This issue was weird in that it was mainly the B-teams going at it, while the A-teams didn't really do much. Honestly, if you looked up “filler issue” in the dictionary, this comic would be there... Although I don't know what kind of dictionary would have a definition for “filler issue” Hmm, I'm wracking my brain trying to think of something to add here, but I'm coming up blank... Oh! Nightwatch! That dude is SUCH a blast from my 90's past! He's pretty much the Marvel version of Spawn. Except a zillion times lamer. Um, that's gonna do it for now, I guess I'll move on to the next one.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Teen Titans #15

After sneaking a peek at the cover after this issue, I now know that this is the last issue of this storyline! Huzzah!! Honestly though, this storyline hasn't been that bad, even though it revolves around the most useless of the current Teen Titans. Well, let's polish this one off.

Teen Titans #15(Nov. 2004)

Summary: Cyborg goes to check on Beast Boy and Dr. Register(who is now going by the Zookeeper), which leads to him attacking the Zookeeper after he finds Beast Boy drugged on the floor.
Ahhhh, Barney's on a rampage again!!!

The two fight, which brings Starfire, Wonder Girl(who has returned from Ares's lair after Ares spouted vague gibber-jabber at her) and Kid Flash to the scene. While the Titans try to deal with the Zookeeper, Beast Boy reinfects himself with the virus that turned him into Beast Boy in the first place and engaged the Zookeeper one on one. Beast Boy winds up winning, and takes the Zookeeper in. Then it gets confusing/stupid. All of the kids in San Fran are cured thanks to Beast Boy's blood canceling out the Zookeeper's blood(although Kid Flash says it the other way around, thus the confusion).
How did that woman know which random animal child was hers?

Besides that, Robin calls Superboy on the phone to tell him he was back to being Robin again.

Thoughts: Let's just get right too it, according to this, if I'm reading it right, Beast Boy would have donated enough blood for literally thousands of kids! All in like 36 hours! How is that even possible?!! I guess we'll add “blood transfusions” to genes on the list of things Geoff Johns doesn't understand. The Ares scene was totally unnecessary because it added nothing at all. Ares was all, “Somebody will die! You have to make the right choice!” It was all just empty words that mean nothing... Tell her what this choice is, or who's gonna die, or omit the scene. We also had a scene where Raven asked Wonder Girl how to dress/what to wear, even though we saw Raven in street clothes like 2 issues back when she was dressed hip and was getting tattoos! Now all of a sudden she doesn't know how to dress?! UGH!!!
Agreed.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

JT Review: Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #8

Hey Todd Squad, It's that time once again for another JT Review! (A JT review with an added bonus, a side helping of X!  That's right, I'm crashing this party, and making this review palatable for you poor, poor readers!  Suck it, JT!!  Also, stop saying "Todd Squad"!!!)This time we're checking in with Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane. After my last review featured Jimmy Olsen in the wrestling ring, I thought, what could possibly follow that?(More wrestling?) Well more wrestling of course!(Yep) So let's checkout a story from issue 8, entitled "The Ugly Superman".(This series went more than 6 issues?!?!?  How?????)

 Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #8
Plug-ugly. Well damn, what happened to those Smallville manners?

Summary:  This issue starts with.... just straight up racism!(Huzzah!!!) Okay, so Lois gets assigned to cover the wrestling show because women are becoming interested in the sport, according to Perry White.(Who'd know about the composition of a wrestling crowd better then Perry White?) Lois goes to the show and watches a match between Hairy Sam and... Injun Ike.(Ah the 50's/60's and it's casual racism...  Where would we be without you?) Yep... it's gonna be one of those, ladies and gents!

I'm just glad there's no one with an "N" name...(Jesus is that dude hairy!  He's more ape than man!!)

Lois watches the show and dissects it all like your typical Smark (smart mark wrestling fan), she quickly deduces that it's entertainment where people want to see the hero win and the villain lose.(Lois seems like the kind of person who'd also tell kids the Tooth Fairy is fake and that there is no Santa Claus) She states that wrestling, unlike boxing, has become a colorful comedy designed strictly for laughs. Well fuck you too, Lois. The main event features The Dutch Devil (sigh.) vs. the undefeated Ugly Superman. Ugly Superman seems to actually have super strength as he destroys the dastardly Dutch Devil and puts him through the ring! Lois is shocked to see the crowd is booing Ugly Superman because he's SO DAMN UGLY!(You've never jeered an uggo on the street, JT?  How are we even friends?)

He tried to enter an Ugly contest and the judge said "Sorry, no professionals!"(Oh TAG!)

Lois goes backstage and interviews Ugly (I'm calling him that to save time and also because it's funnier.) in hopes she can make the crowd like him with a nice write up. Lois literally pats this poor bastard on the head and compares giving him praise to being like kindness for dumb animals. Man, Lois really comes off unlikable in this story, even when she's trying to be nice. She even calls "restoring this poor creature's confidence" her deed of the day.(He's ugly and therefore sub-human, and as such is worthy of disdain.  What's so hard to understand?)

There, there, ugly.

Lois' plan backfires the next morning when Ugly becomes her newest admirer. He brings her chocolate and flowers, and has even gotten a tattoo of a heart that says "Lois Lane loves The Ugly Superman" on his arm! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He even calls HIMSELF the Ugly Superman!(HA!!!  That legit made me laugh...)  Lois tries to straighten this out by explaining to Ugly that she's not interested, but Ugly isn't hearing it.  Lois ropes Clark into this and says they have plans, but Ugly pushes Clark down like a bitch.

That's how I push X around, Top hat and all.(He's an asshole...  It's true...)

Clark pretends to let Ugly beat him up so his cover isn't blown. Lois agrees to go out with Ugly if he'll stop beating the shit out of Clark, so they head out for a night on the town! Clark follows from a distance to keep an eye on Lois. Ugly takes Lois out to dinner and he says how excited he is to show Lois off to his friends at the wrestling show. Ugly then takes Lois to the theater to see an Opera... damn Ugly, you know how to treat a lady!

He's eating Rice Crispies before they added that Pop character.(HA!!  Superman's an ass here!  She only went out with him so he'd stop beating Supes up!)

Clark decides to dress up like an old man named Methuselah... HA! He heads down to the gym to embarrass Ugly in a test of strength. Ugly is at the gym bending horse shoes with his teeth, lifting two ton weighs and snapping chains with his chest when Superman arrives in disguise. "Methuselah" eats the horse shoe and says it's actually licorice, the two ton weight is papier-mache and has Lois break the chains while he actually melts them with his X-Ray vision. Ugly may be ugly, but he ain't stupid.(He tattooed "Ugly Superman" on himself...  I'd say he's both ugly AND stupid) Obviously this old man is a magician, so Ugly charges at him and reveals it's actually Superman. Ugly tries to attack Superman but Supes throws embarrasses him even further.

THAT'S what they mean when people say "That shot was ugly!"(HA!!  Goddamnit, I laughed at that line...)

Ugly tries some more but he's outclassed and outmatched by big blue. Ugly realizes if he's not the strongest than he doesn't deserve Lois Lane. Two months later, Clark takes Lois to a wrestling show and they discover that The Ugly Superman is now working as The Gorgeous Superman(As opposed to the... Regular Superman, I guess?), because he's gotten plastic surgery. Sure, why the fuck not. Gorgeous asks Lois out on a date now that he doesn't look like he was beaten to death with an ugly tree, but Lois turns him down. She's saving her heart for the true Superman, while Clark whistles nonchalantly because he's secretly dating Lana Lang... probably.

Clark: Keep waiting, toots!

Thoughts: So... I enjoyed this as crazy as it sounds. Sure, it was weird, we got a sweet ugly idiot becoming a crazed, possessive, monster and then he was humiliated in front of all of his peers by the literal strongest man on the planet... so he got plastic surgery and now he's hot.(That sounds oddly like my bio...) Why he didn't do that from the very beginning, I have no idea. That said, this was a goofy, fun read. It was nice seeing that Lois wasn't superficial in the sense that she'd just happily be with Ugly once he was no longer Ugly.(Condescending?  Yes.  Superficial?  No.) It was also nice watching Superman destroy a man's livelihood by using his powers instead of just talking some sense into a crazy guy who just wanted some attention. Well.. not so much fun as tragic, but whatever. Tomato, Tomasso Ciampa.

# of pages: 9
# of panels Ugly beat up Clark for: 8
# of times the word Ugly was said: 13(Huh, I'd have expected more...  JT used the word like 50 times!)