Four-Color Coverage: So, it’s been a while…

animation, comics, reviews No Comments

…and that “while” was a lot longer than I had planned to go without some kind of a post.

There have been many good things that have come out in the past few months. I’m going to take a 10,000-foot view of most titles or groups of titles, with spotlights/highlights from a select few. And with that said, let’s get to it:

  • Young Justice/Teen Titans/Tiny Titans
    • Because I missed writing about it before, we’ll start, out of alphabetical order, with the animated Young Justice feature that aired a couple of weeks ago.

      It was the premiere for the new YJ series that will air on Cartoon Network, starting in January. In the opening, we meet Aqualad, Kid Flash, Robin and Speedy, sidekicks to Justice League members, who are about to begin their first step to full membership in the League…. or so they think. After a disagreement with the senior Leaguers, Speedy quits and the remaining three undertake a mission – correction: an unsanctioned mission – to investigate a government-run facility. By the episode/feature’s end, the kids have formed a new team, sanctioned by the League, with new rules and a new mission. All-in-all, this was a good take on the Teen Titans… I would say even better than the Teen Titans ‘toon from a few years ago. If you have the opportunity to catch an encore presentation, do so.  It’s good. Very good.

    • Teen Titans #89 – I picked this up because of the introduction of Robin (Damian Wayne) to the team. I wasn’t disappointed… not because it’s natural to have a Robin on the Titans. In fact, quite the opposite: Damian isn’t really a team player, which doesn’t sit well with the other Titans. I may give this a few issues and see if it is worthy of becoming a regular addition to my subscription.
    • Tiny Titans and Tiny Titans/Little Archie and His Pals – This book/these books are still just plain “fun,” and I must admit the TT/LA crossover came off much more smoothly – and more entertaining – that I had thought.
  • Action Comics With Superman going on walkabout in America, Lex Luthor has taken over as the protagonist in this title.  And the story – following Lex’ quest for a power ring – has been good. Including his brush with (Neil Gaiman’s version of) Death.

  • Batman/Batman and Robin/Batgirl/Batwoman/Red Robin
    • Batman titles – Bruce Wayne is back from his trip through the timestream… and he’s broadening his view on his war on crime: He’s going global and recruiting others to his cause.
    • Batman and Robin: Dick Grayson still wears the cowl in Gotham City, while Damian Wayne maintains his role as Robin
    • Batgirl – College student by day; crimefighter by night, Stephanie Brown patrols Gotham City as Batgirl, with the assistance of Oracle and Oracle’s new protege: Proxy.
    • Batwoman – We’ve only seen the zero issue, but I’m liking this take on Kate Kane.
  • Birds of Prey #6 – When Black Canary leaves the team to train under the mysterious newcomer who calls herself “White Canary,” Huntress and Zinda travel to southeast Asia to find out what’s really going on. This, in turn, leads to a spectacular fight between Huntress and Lady Shiva, one of the world’s most accomplished – and deadly – martial artists.
  • Captain America – With his past as Winter Soldier exposed, James “Bucky” Buchanan – the current Captain America – is now preparing to stand trial for his crimes.
  • Fantastic Four #584 – Ben Grimm, after taking a formula created by Reed’s new Future Foundation, takes a formula that allows him to be human again… for a week. Jonathan Hickman writes a good story about Ben and Johnny, two regular guys out on the town. Oh, and Galactus pays Reed a visit, too.
  • Green Lantern/Green Lantern Corps/Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors
    • Green Lantern – The quest for the Avatars continues.
    • Green Lantern Corps – Ever wonder just who it was that fashioned Sinestro’s first yellow ring? That question is answered. And, we learn he’s not all that happy with Mr. Sinestro, either.
    • Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors – Exactly what is the Lanterns’ mission in the Unknown Sectors… and how do Atrocitus and Bleez fit into the picture?
  • Legion of Super-Heroes/Adventure Comics
    • Legion of Super-Heroes – The Legion and Science Police team up to take on a group of Durlan assassins, out to “avenge” the death of R.J. Brande. And, in a bit of a surprising twist, Earth-Man hooks up with [SPOILER DELETED].
    • Adventure Comics – Paul Levitz has done a fantastic job of recounting early Legion stories and returning a young Clark Kent – as Superboy – into the Legion mythos, including a story where Brainiac 5 leads the young LSH on a mission to the past to take on [SPOILER DELETED]. Also, the new Green Lantern 2814 is named.
  • New Avengers #6 – In the aftermath of the fight with Agomotto, the New Avengers try to chart their new direction. For Jessica Jones-Cage, that means finding a new nanny for Danielle. The line-up of applicants is impressive (and a little scary), but the winning dialogue of the story comes from Squirrel Girl. (Yes, I said “Squirrel Girl.”) And it’s not just one item, but three. In one issue. Read it.
  • Spider-Girl #1 This re-kickoff issue of an Arana/Spider-Girl series was fun. Teenaged superhero – with a little angst-laden fun. (Besides, how many titles have captions/asides in the form of Twitter posts?) I am really looking forward to seeing where the series goes; I just hope that it holds up to the high bar set by this issue.
  • Superman/Supergirl/Superboy
    • Superman – The Man of Tomorrow has been continuing his very human journey across America. I’ve been quite happy with J.M. Straczynski’s storyline and will be interested to see I, Zombie writer, Chris Roberson’s, take on it when he assumes writing duties with Issue #707.
    • Supergirl – I’m going to jump to Supergirl Annual #2 here. Why?  Because it features the LSH. The classic Legion, that is; not the 247-Legion where she spent the “1 Year Later” timeframe. As an added bonus, this issue also served to not only return (or would it be “insert”) the modern incarnation of Supergirl into her classic role with the Legion, but also respark her classic semi-relationship with Brainiac 5.
    • Superboy – To paraphrase the old Oldsmobile commercial: “This is not your father’s Superboy.” But, in some ways, it is. This time it’s Conner Kent, not Clark… but Jeff Lemire and company are establishing his friends and rogues gallery, all while keeping Conner rooted in Smallville.
  • Wonder Woman – I’ve liked the direction that the altered time line has taken. In many ways, it’s giving readers a sort of origin story on the new Wonder Woman, showing what forged her into from “princess in exile” to “warrior princess.” (And, yes, I still like the new costume.) There are signs that characters have noticed the changes to the timeline, but the question becomes: “How can they repair it?”