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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 12/11/21

By this time next week, I will have seen Spider-Man: No Way Home and none of the spoilers will haunt me anymore! The wait is getting pretty unbearable! But thankfully, we’ve got some fun comics like Power Rangers, Batman and Inferno to keep us occupied.

Comic Book of the Week goes to One-Star Squadron #1 for a fun little debut issue. Also, sometimes I just need to give Power Rangers a break from winning all the time.

Minute Man exists

Meanwhile, I finished Arcane on Netflix and it is phenomenal! Highly recommended! Possibly my show of the year. Arcane is what every video game adaptation wishes it could be. They take the characters and settings of League of Legends and actually build a really great story, juggling multiple characters, multiple arcs, multiple great moments, while still remaining true to the characters. The visuals are also out of this world.

Comic Reviews: Batman #118, Dark Knights of Steel #2, Inferno #3, Mighty Morphin #14 and One-Star Squadron #1.

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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 #6

Let’s all welcome the new Power Girl to the Teen Titans! Hooray! Good, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to talking about Manchester Black. What’s that? You’d rather talk more about the interesting new Power Girl and how she might fit in the Teen Titans? I don’t know…Manchester Black is Manchester Black. He’s got a lot of really interesting stuff going on, and writer Will Pfeifer is pretty sure we should focus on Manchester Black.

Teen Titans #6

The new Power Girl is going to have to wait, everybody, because Pfeifer really really needs to write another giant Manchester Black monologue.

Comic Rating: 4/10 – Pretty Bad.

How badly does Pfeifer need to talk about Manchester Black? He literally has Black just pop in and interrupt the new Power Girl’s introductory scene. After that, Power Girl becomes nothing more than a background character. And that’s almost a perfect summation of Pfeifer’s short run on Teen Titans so far.

But I will give the man credit: there’s a glimmer of evidence about where Pfeifer might be going with all of this, and if I’m right, then he may be forgiven.

What remains unforgivable, though, is how little Pfeifer actually seems to care about the Teen Titans. Every opportunity he has in this issue to explore the Titans and their lives is interrupted. He’s constantly cutting himself off instead of staying with a scene or a moment. Pfefier actually starts several conversations exploring the Titans’ living situations and motivations, but then he cuts himself off to move on, usually towards Manchester Black. What he does write is actually pretty good, and I was prepared to give this issue a higher score, but then Pfeifer just flatlines in the entire second half of the issue.

At least Scott Hepburn is still around on art. He’s weird and funky, and I like him.

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

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Review: Teen Titans #5

This Teen Titans comic is pretty much the antithesis of everything I like in comics these days. Books like Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye and Batgirl are breaking new ground on how superhero stories can be told, with real human characters,  real human drama and actual creativity in their storytelling. Batgirl, for example, embraces the modern day world of its youthful character, sending Barbara Gordon spinning into a world of Internet hookups, auto-tuned bad guys and real stakes. Ms. Marvel stars a teenager who is just as much in touch with her family as she is with superheroics, and actually has to worry about both. Hawkeye is mostly interested in the man behind the mask.

Teen Titans #5

Whereas Teen Titans is content to be just a dumb superhero comic where the characters are only really concerned about being superheroes. Not even an art change or the promise of a new character can save Teen Titans #5 from just being generally dull.

Comic Rating: 5/10 – Alright. 

I said this before in my last review, but it bears repeating: what is so difficult about writing a story that’s actually about the Teen Titans themselves? The previous writer, Scott Lobdell, never managed to do it, and new writer Will Pfiefer likewise can’t seem to focus on his teen stars. It’s not like they’re a boring group! This is actually a pretty solid roster of Titans. They have the potential for some really interesting mix-ups. Beast Boy and Bunker have a neat friendship/roommate thing going. And why haven’t we heard a peep about the Red Robin/Wonder Girl romance since Pfiefer took over? Raven, meanwhile, doesn’t have any strong relationships with anyone on the team.Why not tackle some of these legitimately interesting topics?

Instead, Pfiefer introduces some of the most laziest super-villains I’ve ever read for one of the laziest superhero fights I’ve ever read. Does he not care? Does he not want Teen Titans to be a good comic? Pfiefer backs off his pet character, Manchester Black, for a little bit, but he doesn’t replace him with the Teen Titans. He replaces him with a gaggle of spoiled rich kids who take a designer drug that gives them super-powers. Is there anything more unimaginative? Then these idiots literally fall into the Titans’ laps. That’s how the heroes of this comic book get involved. The rich kids decide to fight established superheroes for no reason other than it’s a thing to do, and we have a comic.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been more disappointed in this comic. Or maybe I’m not disappointed so much as just tired. I’m tired of Teen Titans failing.

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

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Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 10/25/14

Whatever happened to holiday theme comics? Next week is Halloween, but I don’t know if there are any Halloween comics coming out! Whatever happened to those great comics about fighting giant pumpkin monsters? Or meeting demonic hell spirits? Or what about the greatest Halloween superhero adventure of all time? You henchies remember that one, right? Whatever the case may be, there isn’t nary a Halloween reference in any of this week’s haul!

But we’ve still got a pretty good haul. I picked up new issues of Aquaman and Harley Quinn, while also checking in with the ongoing craziness happening in Axis and Multiversity. One is a little more crazy than the other. I also picked up the first issue of the new Arkham Manor series…but I doubt I’ll be picking up any more. Fortunately, the latest issue in Jonathan Hickman’s ongoing Avengers saga is amazing! Avengers #37 easily scoops of Comic Book of the Week for the high quality, character-based drama!

Some day they’ll laugh about this

You can also check out my coverage of the soon-to-be cancelled She-Hulk over at Word of the Nerd. That title should have survived for the Matt Rocks cameo alone!

Comic Reviews: Aquaman #35, Arkham Manor #1, Avengers #37, Axis #3, Batman Eternal #29, Harley Quinn #11, and Multiversity #3.

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