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6 Forgotten LGBTQ+ Superheroes Who Still Have Potential

Happy Pride Month, everyone! I am a big supporter of LGBTQ+ fiction and wanted to make sure I did at least one List of Six this month to honor Pride. I’ve done my favorite queer couples in comics. I’ve done LGBTQ+ characters who should get their own movies. And this week, we’re going to explore queer comic book characters who have sadly disappeared into comic book limbo!

Shameless plug!

It happens to a lot of good comic book characters. Not everybody is going to be a Wolverine or a Batman right out of the gate. A writer comes along and creates a cool new superhero, but they don’t catch on and fade into obscurity when the writer moves along. It happens. Over the past decade or two, we’ve seen the major comic book companies try to introduce more LGBTQ+ characters…and then they fade away as well! That’s just how comics work sometimes.

So I’m here to pick some of these characters out of limbo, dust them off and present them as superheroese with potential going forward!

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Review: Teen Titans #15

Well hot diggity dog! Somebody break out the fine wine and party hats, we’ve got a pretty decent issue of Teen Titans on our hands! Nothing in this new issue really grinds my gears. We’ve got some good art from one of my favorites, Ian Churchill. The villain is pretty dastardly, and while he does come out of left field, he does so in a normal, comic book sort of way. And Bunker is this close to having the lead role this issue. I honestly hope this is the start of bigger and better things for Bunker.

Teen Titans #15

Don’t let the cover fool you, though. This is a pretty crappy crossover with Robin War, but it’s a pretty nice issue of Teen Titans.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

I know what you’re thinking: I usually hate Teen Titans. And it’s true, I do. But I don’t hate Teen Titans out of some ingrown desire to hate it, it’s just not my comics cup of tea, despite the creative teams’ best efforts. Teen Titans has a lot of problems. But those problems have a lot of easy solutions, and writers Will Pfeifer and Scott Lobdell do a lot of things almost right in this new issue. The madness has died down. We’re free of whatever the heck DC wanted done with Superboy. Now it’s just the Teen Titans being superheroes. There’s also almost a scene of them being ordinary teenagers, but it’s gone in a (Kid) flash. But that aside, this is a solid issue. It doesn’t make Teen Titans a worthwhile comic, but considering Teen Titans as a whole, this is sort of a pleasant experience.

Look, if you’re like me and would like to read a consistently enjoyable and entertaining Teen Titans comic, this isn’t it. But if you’re also like me, and you’re still buying this series and hoping for the best, then today is your lucky day! With Red Robin off playing War, the rest of the Titans are left to find and fight bad guys all on their own. And while Pfeifer and Lobdell don’t go nearly far enough to flesh out the other Titans, at least the issue is a good read.

Join me after the jump for the full synopsis and more review!

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Review: Teen Titans Annual #1

Hey everybody, Superboy is back! Remember when he died? Or was…replaced by an evil impostor…who I think also died? Does anybody remember what happened to Superboy? All I remember is that it was really really dumb, and really really confusing, and that the Teen Titans were completely out of the loop. I don’t think they ever knew about the impostor. But regardless of whatever insanity happened a year or so ago, Superboy is back in Teen Titans Annual #1, and he brings with him some much needed team drama!

Teen Titans Annual #1

Unfortunately, the Annual issue is hampered by some pretty terrible art. So I finally get what I want, the Teen Titans are the actual star of their own comic, but I still can’t appreciate it because this is one ugly comic.

Comic Rating: 5/10 – Alright.

Despite this being an Annual issue, the Teen Titans story continues from right where it left off, only now with extra pages and a new co-writer in tow. Tom King pays a visit from his successful Grayson comic to lend regular writer Will Pfeifer a hand with Teen Titans Annual #1. The two are paired as co-scripters, according to the credits, with the actual plot courtesy of King. Is this a sign that he might be taking over? I have no idea.

But King brings with him a much-needed focus on the Teen Titans themselves. Pfeifer has been a pretty poor presence on the franchise, and my biggest complaint with him so far is that none of his stories really focus on the Teen Titans themselves. Pfiefer has been too obsessed with either pet characters, like Manchester Black, or whatever new super-villain plot he’s brought to the table. All of that changes, for the most part, with this Annual issue, and I’m very happy with that. But the art by the alternating team of Alisson Borges and Wes St. Claire just can’t keep up.

Superboy is back in the Teen Titans’ lives, and he’s brought a lot of baggage with him. News reports claim that he’s responsible for murdering 21 people in cold blood. Obviously, there’s a lot more to that story than what the news media is reporting, but for now, it’s got the individual Titans at each others’ throats over whether they need to help their old friend or turn him over to the authorities.

That makes for good team drama, so at the very least, Teen Titans Annual #1 is a step in the right direction. I may come to regret this later on, but I think I’m going to get my hopes up, if only just a little bit.

Join me after the jump for a full synopsis and more review!

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Review: Teen Titans #3

I realized something kind of important after reading Teen Titans #3: I don’t really like any of these characters. I don’t mean that in the general sense, not like ‘Beast Boy sucks!’ or anything like that. I mean I don’t like them as people. I don’t really want to spend any time with them or be seen with them. The Teen Titans are kind of uncomfortable to be around. I realized this because new writer Will Pfeifer is kind of doing exactly what I wanted him to do in the relaunch: he’s treating the Teen Titans as people first, superheroes second…kind of. He’s not exactly there yet, but this new issue is filled with scenes of the teens just hanging out and being friends, and subplots that don’t have anything to do with punching super-villains.

Teen Titans #3

The problem is that DC and the previous writer, Scott Lobdell, have made the Teen Titans so unlikable that I just don’t care that Pfeifer is doing exactly what I want.

Comic Rating: 5/10 – Alright. 

The great thing about this new issue of Teen Titans is that it is filled with character-based subplots. The main plot is still all about that dumb robot chick and whatever ax she’s grinding (I have seriously forgotten), but Pfeifer fills the rest of the issue with actual, worthwhile character interaction. That was the #1 thing missing from Lobdell’s Teen Titans. He was only interested in bringing on new super-villains for the team to fight. Pfeifer, at least a little, views these characters as teenagers. They’re still mostly in costume all of the time, but he’s getting there. He’s mixing real teen drama with superhero drama, and I think it has a chance to be interesting. He just needs to work harder at making me (or anyone) care about these characters.

I think part of the problem might be the art. Kenneth Rocafort is a damn fine artist. He’s great for superhero comics, but I just don’t think he fits Teen Titans. His characters look pointy and fragile. He’d be great on one of those excess Batman books, like Detective Comics, where he could draw awesome pictures of Batman in a big, scary cape. But Teen Titans needs to be a softer book than Rocafort’s style.

For my money, I wish Teen Titans had been given the Batgirl treatment. They need an artist like Babs Tarr to really sell them as likable teen characters. As it stands, Pfeifer and Rocafort have a long road ahead of them to rehab these characters, and frankly, I don’t think both of them are up for it.

Join me after the jump for a full synopsis and more review.

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Review – Teen Titans #2

By no means do I want Teen Titans to be a bad comic. I may be a comic book blogger, who loves to complain about a medium I claim to love, but I would like nothing more than for Teen Titans to be the best comic on the stands. I remain a die-hard Tim Drake fan, and if his comic was great, I would gladly sing its praises month in and month out. That’s why I was so excited for this Teen Titans relaunch. I held out hope that Will Pfeifer could salvage one of DC Comics’ most (in)famous franchises.

Teen Titans #2

But you know what they say about polishing a turd…Actually, no, it’s not that bad. Pfeifer has some solidly good ideas for the Teen Titans, but they appear to be only subplots crowded out by a clunker of a main plot.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

I was cautiously optimistic about Teen Titans #1. It was solidly made, and relatively entertaining, but it was marred by the simple fact that it was just a big, generic superhero adventure when it could have been so much more! We are sitting at the dawn of a great new era in comics. Just look at the reaction to DC’s new plans for Batgirl. Teen Titans, more than any other comic in the industry, is poised to embrace this new, hip style. But Pfeifer seems determined to forge ahead with a big, dumb super-villain storyline that couldn’t be more boring if it featured Harvest.

Hopefully if I don’t say that name three times he won’t appear…

Pfeifer introduces a lot of fun ideas in Teen Titans #2 – ideas that I desperately hope he explores further – about the kind of impact the Teen Titans might have on today’s hip youth culture. Beast Boy with his own Youtube channel? Bunker as a gay culture hero with a major Twitter following? Raven inspiring punk rock bands? Wonder Girl inspiring a female empowerment movement? Why are these not the focus on the series? These are interesting stories that nobody else at DC is doing! (I might not be right about that, I never read The Movement or The Green Team.)

But no, instead we’re stuck with the same S.T.A.R. Labs storyline that doesn’t have anything to do with the Teen Titans. Ugh. And the surprise addition of a semi-classic, pre-reboot villain does not make a lick of difference. He’s not even a Titans villain!

Join me after the jump for the full synopsis and more review!

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