Release Day Review: Teen Titans Vol. 1: Blinded by the Light

Teen Titans, Vol. 1Teen Titans, Vol. 1 by Will Pfeifer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Um.
Well, ok…it’s not bad.

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The majority of the storyline revolves around S.T.A.R. Labs, and all of the hi-jinks they seem to be responsible for causing. Intentional and (seemingly) unintentional. Not that the Titans know that.

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Killer A.I., terrorists, mad scientists, etc., all comes back to one guy…Manchester Black.

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I don’t know if you can tell, but the dude doesn’t actually wear a shirt. He just has the Union Jack tattooed onto his chest.
Get it! Manchester! Hyuck, hyuck!
Anyhoo, he’s a bad guy, he works for S.T.A.R. Labs, and he sets a rather elaborate plan in motion to get the Teens to work with him.
Whether it works or not is still up for grabs…

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There are a couple of side stories, as well.
Including, but not limited to, the introduction of their (maybe?) new teammate, Power Girl.
No. Not the one with big boobies.

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He mother worked for (and was friends with) the original Power Girl, and was killed because of that connection. Apparently, PG bestowed some of her superpowers on this kid before she took off for her own Earth. I remember reading about her mother’s death, but I haven’t kept up with Power Girl, so I had no idea she was gone.
Learned something new today…

The other stories were less important, but I’m gonna tell you about ’em anyway.
Raven has this obsessed fan that looks like she’s a bit wacky. She’s a singer who has started writing all her songs about Raven, and is trying to figure out a way to get her spells into the lyrics. Something? I don’t know, because the plot sort of dwindled away.
Then there’s Cassie’s mom, who shows up out of the blue. Not sure what her purpose is, other than to represent nagging parents worldwide.
Cassie also has a large group of girls who dress up like her, and then go around fighting crime. When they can take a break from following Wonder Girl around town, at least. Again, kinda lame, not sure what that one is all about.
Bunker seems to be getting a tad violent. Or maybe just proactive? Whatever, he likes punching bad guys. A lot.

I don’t really know. Ugh. I feel really uninspired to write anything one way or the other about this title. It wasn’t a chore to read, but it wasn’t special, either. However, since this is just volume 1, there’s a good chance it could improve over time.
I did think the art was pretty nice to look at!

If you’re a huge fan of the Teen Titans, check this one out and let me know what you think.

Got this one from Netgalley & DC. Thank you!

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Review: Batman: Eternal, Vol. 2 by Scott Snyder

Batman: Eternal, Vol. 2Batman: Eternal, Vol. 2 by Scott Snyder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

For pure high octane fun Batman Eternal packs a pretty good punch. Plenty of crazy storylines weaving in and out, plenty of insane villains wreaking havoc, and plenty of the Bat-family heroes taking a stand against evil.

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It wasn’t until the very last page of this volume that I sort of took a step back and went..
The FUCK is this shit!?

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I’m not saying that this was bad, or that I didn’t enjoy it, but I was pretty annoyed with the ending of this one. And, yeah, I know it’s not The End, but…
Hmmm. I don’t think I’m saying this right. I guess what’s bothering me is that I just felt like I’d already read this story somewhere before. Did this feel regurgitated to anyone else? Anyone?
I mean, first of all, Hush is the Secret Villain behind a far-reaching conspiracy…
I know that’s been done before.
Is concocting needlessly elaborate schemes now considered Tommy Elliot’s superpower? Is it?!

Shhhh. Hush.
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And, second…

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!

Ok. And, second…
I’m not sure if Bruce has ever lost control of Wayne Enterprises before, but plenty of other superheroes have lost their companies, so (combined with Hush’s wash-rinse-repeat storyline) it didn’t feel like it was anything new or fresh.
After I finished, I felt a bit like a deflated balloon.
That’s it?

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BUT.
Before I got to the end, I was really entertained with all of the different threads of this volume.

Stephanie Brown’s Spoiler comeback was quite a lot of fun to read about. I’m not saying that there weren’t holes in this plot, but it was entertaining, nonetheless.

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And Catwoman! There can never be enough Catwoman in a Batman title, as far as I’m concerned. I love to watch these two do their little dance…

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Most of you already know that what happens –> here Crime lord? Am I saying that right? It sounds so cheesy…
Anyway, bad stuff happens to an innocent ‘someone‘ in this volume, and Selina decides that instead of trying to take the bad guys out, she should just take them over. There was a preview of her new title in the back of my copy, and it looks kinda cool.

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Alfred & his daughter both play a big role here.
Al gets jacked up by Hush, and his daughter finds out that he was keeping a few secrets from her…

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After a meet-cute with Batman, she reluctantly takes over as Penny-Two and becomes Bruce’s eyes and ears in the Batcave.
Also, Alfred gets to kick some undead ass with Bane in Arkham Asylum!
Shhh. Go with it…

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Lots of other stuff happening, as well. Batwing & Spectre get dibs on the paranormal angle, Batgirl & Red Hood do a little angry team-up, and Harper & Red Robin are getting closer to finding {insert random evil dude}.
It’s a Bat-family reunion!

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Well, not everyone shows up, of course.
Grayson is still playing dead/James Bonding it up over at Spyral, and Jim Gordon is still rotting in jail. Speaking of Gordon, his former protege, Bard, is still running around fucking up Gotham’s infrastructure as per Eliot’s instructions.
I was actually kinda hoping Barbara would have dropped him off that roof.

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Ok. I think overall this was fun, even if it was a bit unwieldy. Sure, some of it feels like old food that was scraped off and re-plated, but certain foods re-heat well enough. Volume 2 wasn’t as good as next day pizza, but it’s also not a total loss…like leftover nachos.
It seems like some important things are happening in this title that are going to affect the Batverse, so if you’re interested in keeping up with the current goings-on, this is probably a must-read. However, it’s super readable, especially if you’re willing to overlook a few of the nuttier aspects.

Thanks to NetGalley & the publisher for a digital review copy.

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Review: Secret Origins Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire

Secret Origins Vol. 1 (The New 52)Secret Origins Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The only reason to read any of these Secret Origin stories, is if your are somehow unfamiliar with the characters.
Not only are the origins not Secret, they aren’t very interesting.
Somehow, I thought that because they were coming out with this Origin volume, I was going to learn something new, or maybe there might be a fresh twist on things.
Nope.
I’ll save you some time.
If you already read comic books, you’ve heard these stories before.
And, honestly, there are better versions of them out there.
Starfire and Harley Quinn were the only ones that haven’t been done to death.
Does that make them great?
No.
But at least I wasn’t rolling my eyes through either of them.
Superman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman were the only characters with stories that felt like the authors even tried to bring some kind of emotion to the table. I’m not saying they were AWESOME. I’m just saying it felt like they tried.
Green Arrow/Oliver Queen is just more we-like-the-tv-show crap, but if you’re into that, it won’t piss you off.
Batman, Batwoman, and Damien’s origins were all unbelievably regurgitated. Nothing was new.
NOTHING.
Red Robin (Drake), Robin (Grayson), and Supergirl, however, rounded out the bottom of the barrel.
I hated all of these guys by the time their issues were done.
Remember when Batman tracked Dick Grayson down and begged him to be his partner?
Yeah, me neither.
And evidently Tim Drake was super excited to partner up with Batman after he caused his poor parents to end up in witness protection.
Mom? Dad? I know I ruined your lives, but Brucey is gonna adopt me now, so…Laters! Enjoy looking over your shoulders for the rest of your (probably very short) lives!
Really? Drake comes off like a total douche. Normally, I like his character quite a bit, so…Thanks!
Supergirl.
*sigh*
One minute she’s fighting a Kryptonian dinosaur, and the next she’s (maybe) starting a war with North Korea over some of their astronauts that she saved.
Yeah. I know that nothing in that sentence made sense.

This isn’t awful, it’s just unnecessary.
It might make a nice gift for people who are just getting into DC characters, but I wouldn’t personally be thrilled to find this under my Christmas tree.

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Review: Batman and Robin Vol. 4 Reqiuem for Damian, by Peter J. Tomasi

Batman and Robin, Vol. 4: Requiem for DamianBatman and Robin, Vol. 4: Requiem for Damian by Peter J. Tomasi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first issue is entirely wordless, all done with artwork, and a stand-out job by Patrick Gleason. It’s true, picture is worth a thousand words, and these pictures say it all. There’s no way you could write what needs to be communicated…The use of the art form is at some of it’s best work here…the last page, where you see Bruce find a note Damian left for him…utterly heartbreaking; his reaction is spot on. I was also glad to see they focused on Alfred as well.

The rest of the book is Robin and (well the other Robins actually) Red Robin goes to stop Batman from making a terrible mistake and perverting the memory of his son (and features an appearance by a certain monster).
Batgirl tries to stop Batman from being overly violent with criminals, and it’s kind of odd what transpires…(view spoiler)
The next features Batman and Red Hood teaming up to stop assassins, but it actually ends up being for an entirely different reason, which rightfully angers Jason, and though understandable, it is sad to see.
There’s also a few appearances by Carrie Kelley (who was Robin in Frank Miller’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS) who was actually tutoring Damian in theatre and other cultural forms. It’s an interesting development, as she may be playing a larger role in the future…

Of course, the final issue of the collection features the other Batman to Damian’s Robin: Nightwing. Dick is written perfectly here. He doesn’t try to stop Bruce or change his mind, or get in his way, he simply lets him do what he has to, and instead of telling him not to, he goes along for the ride. I’m not ashamed to admit, the way Dick handles the situation left me a little misty eyed. I love how he’s turned out here, and I think maybe we’re meant to realize that, and balance it against Bruce never getting to see Damian get to grow the same way.

This is probably Tomasi’s best work on the title so far. I was more than impressed, and while some of the things didn’t ring entirely true, the motivation/emotion behind them made perfect sense.

I’m considering buying #18 as a single issue just to have the textless masterpiece by Gleason.

STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for people who liked Damian and miss him, and for people who like to see an emotionally damaged Dark Knight in his darkest days.

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