Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Teen Titans #29

Whoa, it's been a while since I've been here! I gotta say, I have no idea how I used to post as much as I did all those years ago on the old blog, I mean hell, I was posting like 5 times a night, several reviews a day! Now I can barely scrape up one review a month! Ah well, I'm here now, and look, I've brought a review with me. Anyway, we continue onward with the Teen Titans reviews. This time we get Geoff Johns's take on... Red Hood. Or Jason Todd. Or my boy JT's favorite comic book character. Any of those names will work. Personally, I like Jason a lot as a character, and am terrified to see what John's does with him considering some of the things he did with other favorites of mine in this series... Well, let's check it out.

Teen Titans #29(December 2005):

Summary: Donna Troy is randomly back and asking for Cyborg to help her out on some mission she was doing. Now, considering how important Donna's death was in destroying Young Justice, and how often Johns went back to it early on in this series, you'd think we'd get a little blurb telling us how she came back, or some characters discussing it or something... Instead? Nothing at all... Before Cyborg can head off, Red Hood knocks Cyborg and Beast Boy out of commission. He then drugs Raven and heads to Robin's room. Hood attacks Robin because... From what I gather, Hood wants to test Robin? Probably? The two brawl all over Titans Tower with Hood recounting Robin's history...
So Bruce keeps tabs on potentially thousands of people who may be looking into Batman's secret identity?  That's excessive, but then again, maybe Bruce really does...

Really? We get shit on how Donna came back, but get Tim's entire frigging history?! Frigging Geoff Johns... Also, Zeus is Wonder Girl's father now because reasons. The Robin battle royal ends in the dead Titans statue room, where Hood bemoans the fact that he didn't get a statue... He kind of has a point. I mean, I don't remember him being on the team for more than a handful of issues, but still, you'd think Dick would have asked for one. After complaining, Hood beats Robin unconscious, tags the wall(“Robin #2 was here, yo!”), and leaves. With that, the Titans fawn over Timmy when they find him, and Hood wonders how his life would have been if he had friends like Robin #3 had. This issue ends with Brother Blood returning.

Thoughts: Eh, it wasn't that bad at all. I was expecting horrifyingly awful, so I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, there were a few things that were odd, such as Jason's DNA allowing him into a rebuilt Titans Tower, even though he would have still been dead when they had it rebuilt. You'd think Cyborg would have cleared out some old files from the Tower's database, but I guess not. I also don't get how Hood knew that every other Titan would be out of the way except for Tim. I know he was trained by Bats and all, but still. Speaking of odd, Jason's outfit here would fit that bill...
Those tights tho...

Oh, and the fact that Starfire and Cyborg were just outing people's real names left and right REALLY bugged me... I mean, they're talking about Jason Todd and calling Tim, “Tim” right in front of Mal and Bumblebee!
Hey everybody, let's talk in front of strangers using real names!

Also, why Mal is in this I have NO idea, other than Johns trying to show how much Titans history he knew... Mal is a character that should be forgotten, the Titans comics he was in are beyond godawful... Huh, this “Thoughts” section came out a lot more negatively than I thought it would, considering the fact that this wasn't a bad comic... I guess if nothing else, that just proves that I like to bitch for no good reason.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Teen Titans #28

So this is the last issue of my two issue break from the idiocy of Geoff Johns. Unfortunately, Gail Simone didn't seem to bring her A game(or even B or C game...) to this two part story. On the plus side, Rob Liefeld is still doing the art, so even if the story sucks again, I'll be able to laugh at the artwork.
Holy shit, lay of the roids, Bart!

Teen Titans #28(November 2005):

Summary: Okay, last issue Kestrel stole Raven's soul and ran off to the Chaos Realm.
I'd run off too if this jacked son of a bitch was coming after me!

This issue begins with one of those life lessons, super-villains are kind of stupid, as we see that Kestrel left a way for the Titans to follow him to Chaos Land. Upon sensing their arrival, Kestrel sends his sidekicks to attack the Titans. While that fight is going on, Robin smells a distraction, separates from the group, and finds Kestrel. The two fight, but Robin is overmatched and ends up defeated.
Good god is that the scariest looking Robin I've ever seen...  It'll haunt my dreams from this day forward...

By this time the Titans have defeated the jailbait sisters and attack Kestrel in force. They manage to defeat Kestrel, but he tells them that short of death, he'd just come back and attack the Titans and their loved ones due to him being evil. However, the bitter hammer of convenience strikes, when one of Kestrel's sidekicks turns on him and guts him with his own claws, presumably killing him. With that, the Titans collect Raven's soul and head home.

Thoughts: This was a comic book that happened. That's about all I got here... It wasn't a good story, it was kind of bad, but at least it wasn't insulting. I don't really get why Hawk and Dove were involved at all, especially since they added nothing to any aspect of this issue.
Hey look, it's that kick I mentioned in the last post!

Hell, you'd think Hawk would have at least killed Kestrel, but no, it was Random Villain #1 who did the deed. Meh, I guess it's on to the next issue and the return of Johns...

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Teen Titans #27

Huh, now this is an interesting issue... It seems Geoff Johns took a two issue break, meaning we get a different writer! Yay!!! And, to really make things good, that writer is Gail Simone! So everything is right in the world... Or is it??? See, this is still DC I'm looking at, so they naturally found a way to screw things up... “But X,” you ask innocently, “That awful Superboy story is over, Johns is taking a little break, and Gail Simone is writing the next two issues, what's wrong?” What's wrong? One word... Liefeld... Yep, the next two issues are drawn by... Rob Liefeld himself... If you are wondering why this is a bad thing, you can either read the rest of this post or quickly google “Rob Liefeld Captain America” It's cool, I'll wait........... Yep, the guy who drew THAT is doing the art here... May god have mercy on us all...

Teen Titans #27(October 2005):

Summary: Well this was weird. Okay, it's Father's Day, and the Titans decide to go bowling to help Robin deal with his father's recent death. However, some scrub baddies decide to hold hostages, which gets the Titans after them. The Titans free the hostages and have the villains locked up. From there, we get that bowling scene... And it goes on for a surprising length of time... Like, it was way longer than you'd expect. Next, an enemy of Hawk and Dove(or so I guess) named Kestrel breaks two of the bad guys from earlier out and takes them under his wing(heh heh... It's a bird pun!).
It that guy holding that cube with his middle finger?  Is he holding it at all?

After learning that Kestrel was about, the Titans and Hawk and Dove hook up at Titans Tower and wait for Kestrel, who they assume is going to go there because... I'm not really sure, I think Hawk and Dove's parents are there and Kestrel wants to kill them? Sure enough, Kestrel attacks with his minions, and manages to capture Raven for his masters, the Lords of Chaos. And that's a wrap.

Thoughts: I didn't get this comic at all... It was kind of all over the place... The Titans are fighting no name powered losers, they beat them and go bowling. And then, this issue turns into a Hawk and Dove comic. I could care less about Hawk and Dove, and that goes for all of their versions. So yeah, this was definitely not what I was hoping for... This issue actually made me miss Johns, which is both sad and horrible at the same time... You know what, let me take that back, I can't possibly mean that. On the plus side, the art wasn't overly distracting like I thought it would be.
Ever notice that people always do that kick when Liefeld is drawing?

For the most part, people seemed to have ankles and chests looked to be in the proper proportion. It was still pretty bad, but not as bad as I was expecting.
See what I mean?

So there, we ended on a compliment... In a way...

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!!!

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...