Category Archives: DC Comics

Teen Titans Go! #1 and #2 Review

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Teen Titans Go! was released a few months ago on DC Comics Digital First platform.  Although I am happy the series has now been released as print media, my children are even more excited.  We prefer print, so these two books were at the top of our comic list last week.

Both issues contain two stories each, and they are all funny and entertaining.  Dialogue is just as enjoyable as watching the cartoon itself on Cartoon Network.

The stories are well-written, and the art is superb.  The characters in the book are no different than their portrayals on television.  Robin is still controlling, Starfire is loveable, Raven is dark and gloomy, and Cyborg and Beast Boy are still best buddies who like to eat and joke around.

In the first story of Teen Titans Go! #1, Cyborg is determined to find out who keeps stealing his sandwiches out of the refrigerator.  Here are a couple of my favorite panels from the story.  Robin conducts his own investigation.

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In the second story, Robin and Beast Boy make a bet on the mini-golf course, and Beast Boy is determined to win Robin’s cape.  Cyborg instigates during the entire game.  I mentioned the superb artwork earlier.  I love the detailed facial expressions.  Check out Cyborg’s expressions as he instigates the shenanigans between Beast Boy and Robin.

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Meanwhile, Starfire and Raven are having their own adventure on the mini-golf course.  Starfire gets a little carried away while playing golf.  The two of them venture off into an arcade where Raven sees a stuffed animal she wants.

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Starfire asks Raven about the claw that’s supposed to grab the prize.  I’m not spoiling it here, you’ll just have to read it for yourself to find out what really happened.

In the first story of issue #2, Starfire signs the team up as contestants on Jump City’s Got Your Talent Right Here.  Robin opposes, but does he change his mind?

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Yes he does!

The panel of judges include one my favorite villains in the DC Universe.

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In the second story, Captain Cold blasts Robin into a block of ice.  Now the team has to come up with ways to try to free Robin.

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Sholly Fisch is the writer of this fun-filled title.  Fun character interactions, and family-friendly action/adventure.

The art team consists of Ben Bates (art, issue #1), Lea Hernandez  (art, issue #2), and Dan Hipp (cover).  Great visual storytellers.  You don’t even need text to know what’s going on in the stories.

If your kids watch Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network, then they will definitely want to read the books, as well.  Even if they’re not watching the cartoon, they will still appreciate this comic book.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this all-ages comic book.  There is no doubt that Teen Titans Go! gets  5/5 stars.

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The Phantom Stranger #15 Review

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Forever Evil, DC Comics crossover event, is still going strong.  The Crime Syndicate has claimed world domination, and many lives have been lost.  Forever Evil also has a crossover event, Blight.  An 18-part mini-event, Blight’s titles include Justice League Dark, Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger, Constantine, and Trinity of Sin:  Pandora.  We’re almost at the halfway mark, as The Phantom Stranger #15 is part 7 of Blight, a dark and gruesome event that involves the supernatural forces of the DC Universe.

We first saw Blight, composed of the billions of sins and evil of the human race, in Justice League Dark #24.  At that time, humankind’s darkness had formed into a dark, giant serpent.  Now it has taken Christopher Esperanza, a young man who Stranger brought back from the afterlife, as its host.

In order for Blight to fully control its host, it needs to destroy remnants of Chris’s human existence, including his family.  The Phantom Stranger plans to free Chris and save his family, but Stranger’s Divine Presence commands him to join, and support Blight.  Stranger confronts a possessed Chris, just as he was about to bring tragedy to his entire family.  Not able to bear witness to Blight wiping out the human presence of Chris, Stranger disobeyed the Presence for the first time.  But it may be too late.  Chris revealed to Stranger that he chose Blight.  Now they are one and stronger than ever.

Meanwhile, John Constantine makes a hologram of the Sea King, in hopes of learning what terrified him before he died and nearly drove Deadman insane.  By the way, Deadman is in the Sea King’s body.  Nightmare Nurse wants to free Deadman, but Constantine refuses to let her break the spell.

Stranger, who is wounded after his fight with Blight, drops in on Constantine, Nightmare Nurse and Swamp Thing at the House of Mystery.  Nightmare Nurse uses her healing powers to help Stranger.  The story ends with Stranger running through a mirror, with the others, including Sea King (remember Deadman’s trapped inside his body) at his heels.

J.M. DeMatteis is the writer of this chilling series.  Crisp dialogue, and phenomenal character interactions throughout the book.  Although a lot of ground is covered at a rapid face, it’s not hard to follow if you’re keeping up with the crossover.  DeMatteis also did a great job with the set-up for part 8, Constantine #10.

Amazing visuals by Fernando Blanco (artist), Miguel Sepulveda (artist), Brad Anderson (colorist) and Guillem March (cover artist).  Realistic looking characters.  The colors and tones produce the ghastly feel that’s needed to experience the full effects of this book.

I began reading The Phantom Stranger with the Forever Evil Crossover.  I plan to read at least the first arc after the Blight mini-event is finished.  If I like it, then I may have to make some adjustments to my current reading list.  But so far, I am definitely enjoying this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

This title is perfect if you’re already reading the crossover.  If you have not yet read this title, then I recommend that you read back issues (before the FE crossover) to get a feel for the Phantom Stranger.  Or start with the new arc once the crossover ends.

Great story with superb art.  I’m giving this issue 5/5 stars.

Scooby-Doo Team-Up #1 Review

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Scooby-Doo has been one of my favorite cartoons since childhood, and I frequently buy the comic for my kids. When I learned the gang would be teaming-up with Batman and Robin in the debut issue, by DC Comics, I quickly thought of their team-up in the cartoon years ago. Daphne even mentions their run-in with the dynamic duo in this issue.

Scooby-Doo and the gang are on a hunt for a giant, flying bat-looking creature, when they run into Batman and Robin, who are already on its’ trail. They learn from the dynamic duo that the half-man, half-bat is Man-Bat. He is extremely dangerous because he’s more animal than human, when in bat form.

Meanwhile, the gang foils a robbery attempt by three Man-Bat imposters. In their attempt to capture a fourth imposter, the gang and the dynamic duo quickly realizes it’s the real Man-Bat. Batman and Robin have ONE vial of antidote, meaning they only have ONE shot at Man-Bat to administer it successfully.

This all-ages, easy-to-follow story was written by Sholly Fisch. Funny dialogue and character interactions. I especially liked how Robin checked Freddy for using his catchphrase!

Great artwork by Dario Brizuela. Definitely no complaints in this area. Original looking characters that I’ve loved since childhood.

I plan to buy future issues of this title for my kids, and myself of course. You can never go wrong with Scooby-Doo, one of the most beloved cartoon characters.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this title, especially for those with young children. It’s perfect for storytime.

Harley Quinn #0 Review

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I had to read this story twice. The first time was a straight read. The second, with pen and paper in hand, was to list the names of all the artists in the story. I counted 15. So I skimmed it a third time to make sure I didn’t overlook anyone. This went on for almost an hour. It reminded me of the Hidden Pictures page in the Highlights magazine, that I read as a child. I nearly drove myself crazy then, and now. But nowhere near as crazy as Harley Quinn.

Harley Quinn gets to decide who will be the artist for her solo series, and 17 artists are in the running. From the elites to the lesser known, this book contains what I have to call an all-star cast of artists. It is amazing to see so many different styles of artwork within a few pages.

Awwwww, isn’t that cute? I’m looking at Art Baltazar’s Tiny Titans page. Again. That’s because they’re so adorable. My kids (and myself) love Tiny Titans, but I’m not going to show this page to them. They would fight over the book, and want it in their collections of Tiny Titans comics and sketch cards. Then they would hound me to get Baltazar’s signature at the next comic convention, even though they already have tons of signed books and sketches by him. But I wouldn’t mind because the Tiny Titans are so doggone cute and adorable. By the way, the italicized is my mommy voice!

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are the creative writers of this hilarious title. They broke the fourth wall, and I don’t think anyone else could have done it better. Their wedding panels are funny. If Conner can throw a punch like that in reality, then Palmiotti needs to forever be on his best behavior.

I don’t have any complaints at all about Harley Quinn’s debut issue. She was her usual crazy and funny self. And if you know Harley Quinn, then you know she had to take a few people out.

I loved all the artwork in this issue. I’m not familiar with all the artists, but there’s a few whose work I wouldn’t mind following. A very impressive page is that of Jeremy Roberts, an up-and-coming artist. I didn’t know he was the winner of the contest until I decided to Google the winner before I typed this post. His art is finely detailed, and I love Harley Quinn’s look. I would love to see his work in future issues of this title.

There were 17 artists that contributed to this issue, but when I looked at the credits inside, I counted two additional names. I like to give credit where it’s due, so I’m going to list all the artists that worked on this book.

  • Amanda Conner
  • Becky Cloonan
  • Tony s. Daniel
  • Sandu Florea
  • Stephane Roux
  • Dan Panosian
  • Walter Simonson
  • Jim Lee
  • Scott Williams
  • Bruce Timm
  • Charlie Adlard
  • Adam Hughes
  • Art Baltazar
  • Tradd Moore
  • Dave Johnson
  • Jeremy Roberts
  • Sam Kieth
  • Darwyn Cooke
  • Chad Hardin

Whew! There goes that Highlights moment again, making sure I didn’t miss anyone.

While reading this comic, I saw panels where the coloring was familiar. I quickly turned to the credits and saw the name I was looking for, Alex Sollazzo. I didn’t know Sollazzo was contributing to this book, but I knew it was his work. Now that’s worthy of an applause.

The colorists in this issue include:

  • Paul Mounts
  • Tomeu Morey
  • John Kalisz
  • Lovern Kindzierski
  • Alex Sinclair
  • Lee Loughridge
  • Dave Stewart
  • Alex Sollazzo

There is no doubt I enjoyed this issue. I plan to read the first story arc, at least to see where it’s going. And I hope that Conner and Palmiotti were lying when they swore to stop breaking the fourth wall.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I am recommending this title for now. If my recommendation change after reading the next few issues, I will post and state my reasons. But I have a strong feeling this title will stick around for a long time.

Justice League Dark #24 Review

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The Trinity War is over and apparently, all three Justice Leagues are dead. At least that’s what readers are led to believe, especially since we haven’t seen too much of them since the arrival of the Crime Syndicate. Pandora was led to believe that if the box was opened, the world would be rid of evil for good, including the seven deadly sins. Turns out that it was all a charade orchestrated by the Secret Society. Pandora’s box is actually a portal to a parallel universe, home of the Crime Syndicate.

However a member of the Justice League Dark has survived the catastrophe, and struggles to remember how and why. John Constantine, the leader of the Justice League Dark, was saved by the House of Mystery. After regaining consciousness and recalling the events of the war, Constantine is paid a visit by numerous tiny monsters. The monsters all resemble Constantine, and one of them is even smoking a cigarette! The tiny Constantine monsters reminds me of the little Ashes in Army of Darkness. If you’ve seen that movie, then you will definitely appreciate this issue of Justice League Dark, one of the New 52 titles by DC Comics.

In case you don’t know, John Constantine is an occult detective. This magician is also a con artist who is despised by many, uses trickery to get out of dangerous situations (usually when he’s captured by enemies), likes to tell jokes and smokes constantly.

I enjoyed this issue, especially the Constantine monsters and the visit from Nightmare Nurse. But I don’t know if I can trust her. I don’t have a choice but to wait for the next issue to see if she’s truly helping Constantine, or if it’s an effect from Pandora’s box.

J.M. DeMatteis is the writer of this dark and hilarious script. I found the tours that Constantine received from the House of Mystery to be inspiring. He was given an intimate look at suffering and sin. And if you know Constantine, then you know he remains calm throughout. I like the character interactions, especially Constantine. He is suave and can talk himself out of the most dangerous situations.

Great artwork by Mikel Janin (artist and cover) and Jeromy Cox (colors). The panels with the little Constantine monsters are awesome. Funny as heck, but awesome. I read this title every month so I should have known better than to read it at night. So now I’m sitting here afraid of that giant serpent that’s composed of all the billions of sins and evils. Dark, gray tones, thunderstorm. Great visuals throughout the book.

I have been a reader and fan of dark magic since childhood, and I am enjoying Justice League Dark. I definitely plan to continue reading this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this DC Comics New 52 title.

Justice League #22 Review

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Superman is a killer?  No way.  Shazam started a war?  No Way.  Should you be reading this issue, Part 1 of the Trinity War?  Yes.

Pandora is on a quest to eradicate the world of evil.  Only the purest or darkest at heart can open Pandora’s box.  She finds Superman, whom she believes is purest at heart, and shoves the box into his hands.  Instead of the curse breaking, Superman momentarily gains the third eye and attacks Pandora and Wonder Woman.

Meanwhile, Shazam has flown to Kahndaq to spread Black Adam’s ashes across the desert, despite being warned that the government has banned Americans from traveling there.  The Justice League, taking Zatanna with them for her expertise in magic, heads to Kahndaq to investigate.

The Justice League of America (JLA) also travels to Kahndaq, but to bring the Justice League back to the United States.  We learned in the first issue of JLA that each member has been secretly paired with a member of the Justice League.  Their mission is to take down the Justice League if needed.  The JLA members are hesitant about their assignments, but Colonel Steve Trevor tells them they’re under direct orders.  Of course those orders are from none other than Amanda Waller, that woman I love to hate.

The Justice League finds Shazam in Kahndaq, but he is uncooperative.  He even knocked down Superman, but he quickly learned that was a mistake.  The JLA arrives and informs the Justice League they’re escorting them out.

I am stopping my narration at this point because this is where all kinds of hell breaks loose.  It is too good for me to spoil, but I will say that some serious fighting is going on.  But unknowing to them all is that this war has been orchestrated by the Secret Society of Super Villains, led by the Outsider.

In order to appreciate the Trinity War to its’ fullest, I recommend that you read ALL of the issues in this DC Comics major crossover in the correct order (see checklist below).

I also recommend that you read Justice League beginning with the first issue if you haven’t already, so that you can become familiar with the characters in the new DC Universe.  There are also subtle hints and clues in this title leading up to the war.

This title has a mini story about Pandora and a mini series about Shazam.  I especially loved the Shazam story.  Billy Batson is a young, mouthy orphan boy that is given the powers of Shazam by a wizard.  He must defeat Black Adam, an evil antihero.

Trinity War Crossover Checklist

JULY

  • Prelude: Trinity of Sin:  Pandora #1
  • Part 1:  Justice League #22
  • Part 2:  Justice League of America #6
  • Part 3:  Justice League Dark #22
  • Tie-in:  Constantine #5
  • Tie-in:  Trinity of Sin:  Pandora #2

AUGUST 

  • Tie-In:  Trinity of Sin:  Phantom Stranger #11
  • Part 4:  Justice League of America #7
  • Tie-in:  Trinity of Sin:  Pandora #3
  • Part 5:  Justice League Dark #23
  • Part 6:  Justice League #23

I am currently reading all of these titles, except Phantom Stranger.  However I will be reading issue 11, and will continue reading the series if it grabs my attention.

Geoff Johns is the writer of this well written, fast paced, action filled, and constant page turner.  Great character interactions and Johns gets straight to the point.

I especially liked seeing Madame Xanadu in this story, and how she figured out the meaning of trinity.  Too bad she was deceived by Plastique, a member of the Secret Society.  Madame Xanadu was one of the Demon Knights, one of my favorite New 52 titles that was placed on the chopping block.  She is also in Justice League Dark, a title that is also in the crossover.

The creative art team consists of Ivan Reis, Rod Reis, Oclair Albert and Joe Prado.  Visual storytelling at its’ best.  Realistic characters, detailed facial expressions and powerful fight scenes.  I especially love the cover and the two-page spread of the battle between the Justice League and JLA.  The rich and vibrant colors bring it all to life.

I have been reading  Justice League since the first issue, and plan to continue reading this title.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I highly recommend this DC Comics New 52 title.

Pandora #1 Review

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Envy, gluttony, pride, greed, sloth, wrath, and lust. Imagine having unleashed the seven deadly sins out into the world, and not even knowing it. Then imagine getting sentenced to an eternity of pain, suffering and loneliness, and not even knowing why. That is what happened when Pandora opened the box.

Venturing out into the woods to gather berries, Pandora notices a light in the brushes. The light is coming from a skull shaped box with three eyes. Pandora picks up the box and her life drastically changes. Summoned to the Rock of Eternity for judgment, she is cursed with burning scars and must wander the world that has become full of sin. FOREVER.

Many years later, the dying wizard, Shazam, finds Pandora and tells her the Council used poor judgment and that her punishment was undeserving. Before vanishing into thin air, the wizard tells Pandora how to end the curse and rid the world of the seven deadly sins. Only the strongest or darkest of the heart can open the box. Pandora knows who the strongest at heart is, and takes off on a journey to find this person.

This New 52 title is the prequel to Trinity War, a DC Comics crossover. In this issue we learn that Pandora, Phantom Stranger and the Question are the Trinity of Sin. The sad part about it is that Pandora does not know what she did wrong.

I was surfing the web a few days ago and came across a comic I wasn’t aware of, DC ComicsThe New 52 FCBD (Free Comic Book Day) Special Edition. The story details the judgments of the Trinity of Sin as they stand before the Council at the Rock of Eternity. I now know who Phantom Stranger is, and why Question became, well, the Question. The comic is free and can be read at Comixology. I highly suggest that you read this comic.

In case you don’t know, the Trinity War is not a fight among Pandora, Phantom Stranger and Question. It is a battle among the three most powerful and dangerous teams in the DC Universe. Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark. However the war is being orchestrated by a group of super villains.

I am already enjoying this dark fantasy and supernatural series. Even after the Trinity War ends, I plan to continue reading this title.

Ray Fawkes is the writer. Great dialogue. I was sad over Pandora’s judgment, but quickly overcame that sadness when I saw Vandal Savage, one of my favorite characters from Demon Knights, a NEW 52 title that was canceled.

The creative art team consists of Daniel Sampere (pencils), Patrick Zircher (artist) and Vicente Cifuentes (inks). Excellent visual storytelling. The spread showcasing the seven deadly sins is creepy, but awesome. I hope I never find Pandora’s box because I definitely DO NOT want to be the mother of these sinful creatures.

Here is a list of the 11 Trinity War titles:

JULY

  • Prelude: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1
  • Part 1: Justice League #22
  • Part 2: Justice League of America #6
  • Part 3: Justice League Dark #22
  • Tie-in: Constantine #5
  • Tie-in: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2

AUGUST

  • Tie-In: Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger #11
  • Part 4: Justice League of America #7
  • Tie-in: Trinity of Sin: Pandora #3
  • Part 5: Justice League Dark #23
  • Part 6: Justice League #23

I am currently reading all of these titles, except Phantom Stranger. However I will be reading issue 11, and will continue reading the series if it grabs my attention.

VERDICT (drum roll please)

I HIGHLY recommend this series.