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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 6/9/18

Happy Comic-Con season everybody! If you’re reading this, I am likely at Flower City Comic-Con in Rochester, NY, promoting Gamer Girl & Vixen! It’s the biggest convention I’ve tabled at solo, so hopefully I’m having fun and selling comics! Next month I’ll be in Syracuse.

We had some really solid comics out this week, which is always a hoot. For the first time in a long time, I find myself reviewing both the main Batman and main Superman comics in the same week. That’s pretty neat! We’ve also got new Power Rangers, Hulk and that Dazzler one-shot we were all excited about.

Comic Book of the Week goes to Justice League #1 for a far out and freaky debut issue!

Martian Dragon 01

Even as a dragon, he wears his suspenders

Meanwhile, DC is also putting out some one-shots of Bat-Family characters reacting to the upcoming wedding. I flipped through the Nightwing vs. Hush issue and was disappointed to discover that Batman chose Superman to be his best man over Dick. Batman and Robin is legend, man! How is that not the most obvious thing?

Also, they explain that Batman and Catwoman are getting married, but not Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. That’s weird as hell.

Comic Reviews: Batman #48, Dazzler X-Song #1, Go Go Power Rangers #10, Justice League #1, Immortal Hulk #1 and Man of Steel #2. 

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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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The New Justice League of America

Even though Justice League: International crashed and burned, DC Comics is going to try again with a brand new Justice League of America team. Apparently it’s going to run concurrent with the Justice League series that already exists. Because as the Marvel marketing department will tell you, why bother coming up with an original superhero team name when you can just re-use a name that is already a proven seller?

Behold the new team lineup!

Additional member: Catwoman’s cleavage

At the very least, this new team is spinning out of the ongoing story in Justice League. When Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, Aquaman and the rest banded together into a team in the New 52, they did so on their own, with no government oversight or control. And there has been an ongoing story about how the U.S. government is a little skittish about the fact that this supremely powerful team of superheroes isn’t beholden to anyone.

So it looks like the government is putting together their own version of the Justice League.

The new line-up: Martian Manhunter, Catwoman, Green Arrow, Katana, Hawkman, Vibe, Steve Trevor, Stargirl and Baz, the new Arab-American Green Lantern.

Here’s what writer Geoff Johns had to say about the team:

The idea of why the JLA forms, and what it is, and what it’s in reaction to… It kind of spins out of Justice League #12; what happens in that, and then subsequent issues, because JLA comes out next year some time. But the book itself is a group of heroes that aren’t necessarily coming together because they want to be together… They’ve been selected specifically. They all want, or need something that Steve Trevor, and the other person behind the scenes that’s in charge of this team can provide.

The first arc is going to deal with something they learn is called The Secret Society of Super-Villains. It’s specific because its run by A.R.G.U.S. They have a team they feel they can now control. Whether or not that ends up being the case is up for debate.

You can read the full interview at Mtv Geek. Because when I think of geek culture, I think Mtv.

As for my personal opinion…I dunno. I think it’s too soon to be doing something like this. We’re barely more than a year into the New 52 reboot, and the Justice League title has barely had any time to settle itself. It’s a good enough comic, but I don’t think it’s as strong as it could be. Adding something like this for it to contend with is too much too soon. It’s like DC doesn’t think they have any time to let anything grow. They did this big reboot of their universe, and now they still have the modern day mentality that they’ve got to just push and push and push more stuff out the door to keep fans happy. They won’t let anything settle or simmer.

So I dunno. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. Justice League Dark is still selling. But Justice League International got cancelled. So we’ll see what happens when this new book comes out next year some time.

At the very least, the name is a little dumb. The names ‘Justice League’ and ‘Justice League of America’ are synonymous in the minds of the fans. Applying them to two different teams is going to get a little confusing.

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