While the book's blurbs and preface are obnoxiously smarmy, the book itself is neat science so far (Chapter 5: Building the Batbones); plus, every exaWhile the book's blurbs and preface are obnoxiously smarmy, the book itself is neat science so far (Chapter 5: Building the Batbones); plus, every example uses Batman, and therefore: (a) this is relevant to my interests and (b) the author proclaims himself a giant geek on nearly every page. When the arrows in figure 5.1 point out the bone crystals in the collagen molecules and the arrows in figure 5.2 point out the suction cups that Batman is using to climb the side of a building, I approve!...more
This is actually my second read-through of this story. I do quite like it -- I'm wavering between three and four stars because of the artwork. It's reThis is actually my second read-through of this story. I do quite like it -- I'm wavering between three and four stars because of the artwork. It's really nice most of the time, and the backgrounds are really excellent, as are the fight scenes and the monster designs; the only place where it falls down is in adults' face. Present-day Bruce, in particular, seems off in some way that I can't quite define except to say that it involves cheekbones and jowls, although it's clear that he's an older version of flashback Bruce. The younger characters, especially flashback Bruce, are really well designed -- it makes me wonder, actually, if Natsume usually draws teenagers! And it is amusing to see college-age Bruce absolutely towering over everyone in the dojo where he's staying. The art definitely doesn't suffer for being in black and white, especially in the "demon" fight scenes with wavering greyscale opponents. The story is pretty much standard Batman-fights-some-criminals-while-pondering-life, but that's a successful formula most of the time, and it's done well here. The time spent on Bruce -- as opposed to Batman -- is refreshing. I had a good laugh at the start of the story when Bruce spots Aya; he's all, "Wow, she looks just like a girl I used to know when I was in training," and everyone else is all, "Wow, playboy Bruce goes right for the only woman in the room again." Okay, I suppose that nudges it up to four stars.
Also, on a side note, I really do prefer manga-sized comics. They're just so much easier to read....more
**spoiler alert** This follows on from Eyes of the Gorgon, and everyone except Wonder Woman is freaking out about the loss of her vision. She teams up**spoiler alert** This follows on from Eyes of the Gorgon, and everyone except Wonder Woman is freaking out about the loss of her vision. She teams up briefly with the Flash, nearly bites the head off a reporter, and then gets dragged into Athena's god-squabbles again. This time she descends into the underworld, which makes for extremely cool mythological art but lessens the opportunity for awesome fight scenes. (The fight with Zoom at the beginning is pretty short.) And, in properly self-righteous comic book fashion, she gets her vision back again because she doesn't ask for it.
I was annoyed at Wonder Girl at first -- it seemed like she was only tagging along to work up more angst about her dead boyfriend -- but then she too got some cool fight scenes and finally got to confront Ares and Zeus about her parentage. The art makes her look a lot younger than the Teen Titans art does, which threw me off a bit. Yes, Wonder Woman is very tall (several inches taller than Flash, for example), but she towers over Wonder Girl here.
On the other hand, the crass sexism of the older gods was really irritating outside of the text. Yes, we're supposed to be rooting for Athena, we get it. We don't need Hades referring to the goddesses as "that coven of shrews", accusing Ares of being "another cowering in fear of the women", and calling Wonder Woman "a whore for your goddess" to know he's going to lose....more
**spoiler alert** The spoilers, should you care, are right up at the top here...
...Because this is the one in which Wonder Woman puts out her own eyes**spoiler alert** The spoilers, should you care, are right up at the top here...
...Because this is the one in which Wonder Woman puts out her own eyes in order to win a fight with Medusa. (Or Medousa, as it's transliterated here.) Medousa's ripped off her blindfold and is compelling Wonder Woman to look at her (and, therefore, turn to stone -- and therefore, lose the fight and allow Medousa free reign to turn several thousand spectators to stone) so Wonder Woman grabs a shorn hair-snake with acid venom, spikes her own eyes out with its fangs, and finishes the fight by turning and decapitating Medousa. Because you do not fuck with Wonder Woman. Seriously, in every other comic -- including ones with women heroes -- I'm almost always "yeah, fight scene, whatever", but Wonder Woman is always hardcore awesome. The one where she rips off cage bars to beat up a demon that's going to eat her old enemy Cheetah? Awesome. The one where she's dunked in molten metal and shakes it off? Awesome? The one where she beats down Superman until she can free him from mind control? Awesome. You see my trend here.
And in this book, she then goes off and beats up the entire JLA for an "evaluation" of her blind fighting skills. Superman snips at her for not resigning and she snips at the whole JLA (except Batman, of course) for holding back in the fight. (She has other reasons for getting cranky with Batman.) And doesn't resign, because, hello, maybe she originally won that armor fighting but (a) in case you didn't notice, she's still fighting, and (b) as an avatar of the Goddess of Wisdom, she has a little more to offer than just a sword-arm, y'know? And to bring back the point that (a) she's still fighting, the Goddess of Wisdom (Pallas Athena, who's been orchestrating this whole thing from the beginning) calls her up to Olympus to champion Athena in her bid to dethrone Zeus and take ultimate power on Olympus for herself -- and Athena wins because, of course, she's got Wonder Woman on her side.
Also, seriously, the section where the Themysciran ambassadors (Diana, Artemis, and Phillipus) get called to a formal White House dinner is awesome. Seeing Diana as an ambassador with a day job in addition to being Wonder Woman is lovely, especially because the art carries through the "inhumanly strong and perfect" thing even when she's in jeans and a tank top or a weird formal toga-like robe.
And I kind of love that the volume opened like this: Dr. Leslie Anderson: What happened to you? Wonder Woman: I was blown up and then buried under some hundred tons of earth. Leslie: And this happens to you often, does it? Wonder Woman: Probably more often than it should, yes. [shrug] You're on the Embassy network? I uploaded Ballesteros' files to the Embassy server before everything exploded....more
**spoiler alert** A lot of stuff happens in this book!
- Robin-on-Robin: Jason Todd throws a hissy fit and beats up on Tim Drake in the Titans Tower. -**spoiler alert** A lot of stuff happens in this book!
- Robin-on-Robin: Jason Todd throws a hissy fit and beats up on Tim Drake in the Titans Tower. - Raven and Gar free Kid Eternity to close the Door of Life and Death and take down a bunch of zombies, which is cooler than it sounds. - Superboy Prime shows up in Smallville where Kon is sulking about being a Luthor clone, -- and there's an all-Titans throw-down, -- and Speedy locks him in the Phantom Zone, which he then punches to retcon anything anyone likes, -- and the Flashes all disappear to haul him away, -- and Robin, Speedy, Wonder Girl, and Beast Boy have to break into a Luthor lab to save Kon, -- and Wonder Girl's powers break down, -- and Lex gets all talky about his relationship with Kon. - The Titans run to the rescue of Bludhaven, where Chemo just dropped, and Superman leaves Robin in charge. - Cassie and Kon head back to Smallville to prevent anyone from calling Cassie "the virgin goddess" again. - Superboy is the only one to answer Nightwing's rally call to fight the Crisis Thingamajig, so off they go, adorably, while Cassie becomes her brother Ares' mortal champion and catches up with Superboy and Nightwing at the Crisis Thingamajig. - After a big fight scene (here's the Psycho-Pirate's end), Superboy Prime reappears, smacks down Wonder Girl, and gets fatally (for both of them) smacked down by Kon.
So that's kind of a lot for one book! This is all Crisis stuff and I'm generally "meh" about the Crisis, so, you know, meh. Important plot, etc.
As for the art, did you know that Todd Nauck did an issue of Teen Titans, too? Unfortunately, he seems to have been trying so hard not to make them look like Young Justice that they ended up looking like nothing much at all. Only a few chins here and there gave him away. Scott McDaniel did the Robin issues that I liked in this book -- I really like the cartoonish style, although it was a bit jarring next to the semi-realistic style of the rest of the book. The final battle was from the Infinite Crisis mini itself, and the art was incredibly, overwhelmingly detailed, which worked really well for the emotional tone. (I can't track down who did the art, but it was probably Phil Jimenez.)...more
I love the future Titans. I can't help it; I just utterly love that storyline, no matter how awful the art (it's not entirely awful, but it is dramatiI love the future Titans. I can't help it; I just utterly love that storyline, no matter how awful the art (it's not entirely awful, but it is dramatically inconsistent -- for p134 and p135 (which was only, you know, the middle of the climactic finale) either there were two different pencillers, the penciller couldn't draw a consistent future Tim the same twice, or for some reason it was an artistic choice, perhaps trying to show that the future was changing so quickly that it was affecting Tim's bone structure...?)...more
More of a three-star story, really, but it gets an extra point for the title. And it also has Wonder Woman and Nightwing in supporting roles and JasonMore of a three-star story, really, but it gets an extra point for the title. And it also has Wonder Woman and Nightwing in supporting roles and Jason Blood as a major player, and it isn't described terribly well by the title (awesome a title though it is). It also contains Batman and Superman both making some fairly big mistakes, which is what makes it more interesting than a generic fight-some-monsters story....more
I love how this starts, with the juxtaposition of the new guy's outsider taken on the Themysciran embassy and Wonder Woman's military assistance to thI love how this starts, with the juxtaposition of the new guy's outsider taken on the Themysciran embassy and Wonder Woman's military assistance to the UN, and the book -- the cover art, Superman's manuscript comments, the book tour, etc. -- is awesome, but both Veronica Cale and Doctor Psycho are deeply creepy and awful....more
This...this isn't my Superman. And I get that that's the point, that Max Lord is all up in his head and this is the only way out, but still. I love thThis...this isn't my Superman. And I get that that's the point, that Max Lord is all up in his head and this is the only way out, but still. I love that Wonder Woman does what needs to be done, but I don't love that the story was set up to need it....more
Teen Titans reform after the Infinite Crisis and have a crossover with the Doom Patrol trying to get Gar back. The Doom Patrol is being ridiculously mTeen Titans reform after the Infinite Crisis and have a crossover with the Doom Patrol trying to get Gar back. The Doom Patrol is being ridiculously manipulated by one of its members -- seriously, how is every five-year-old kid in the area not pointing and laughing at their gullibility? -- and the Teen Titans are having an insecurity-fest. There are some neat character moments for Robin, Ravager, and Kid Devil, though....more
Again, mostly worth it for the character explorations: Robin, Ravager, Jericho, Kid Devil especially. Also some Wonder Girl and Joker'sOh, Slade.
Again, mostly worth it for the character explorations: Robin, Ravager, Jericho, Kid Devil especially. Also some Wonder Girl and Joker's Daughter -- which makes the final chapter completely baffling. Did we miss a crossover? Why on earth was that added to this collection?...more