Saturday, September 28, 2013

Swamp Thing #23.1 Arcane Review

Extremely Rotten

I will admit it right off the bat, I haven't read much of Swamp Thing.  I know, I know.  It's usually the best reviewed book of it's week and it has a loyal following.  I just never connected with the character. Please forgive me.  However, after going back-and-forth deciding whether to read Swamp Thing #23.1 I gave it a go.  Fortunately, it was so good that i decided to review it.

Swamp Thing #23.1 shows us a miserable Arcane toiling in his own private Hell.  A place where there is no permanent death because there is no rot.  A fitting Hell for the former Avatar of the Rot.  After a hilarious attempt at killing a bunny rabbit, he gets a visit from his niece Abigail, the current Avatar.  She asks her Uncle, Arcane, to tell the story of her Mother.  In exchange for a taste of the Rot, he agrees and intertwines his own origin story with the twisted tale of Abigail's Mother.  The story is horrific, full of half truths and a surprise ending.

When Abigail leaves Arcane in disgust declaring he will never taste the Rot again, he quickly springs into action in an attempt to escape his prison.  What he does and how it plays out is disgusting and hilarious. Anton Arcane is a despicably horrible man and Soule does not try to steer clear of it.  In fact, while a lot of Villain's Month issues try to make you feel sorry for it's subjects, this issue makes you despise him more.  Charles Soule, you are a genius.

Jesus Saiz also does a great job here.  The book has a Gothic, horror look that fits just right.  The character work is also outstanding.

Regular series writer, Charles Soule, does a great job giving us two origin stories and a rebirth. Swamp Thing #23.1 is not only my favorite Villain's Month issue, but has made me a Charles Soule fan as well. Believe the hype, he is that good.  Swamp Thing has entered my pull list as long as he is at the helm.


Wonder Woman #23.2 First Born Review

Crush your enemies, see them driven before you...

Most of my favorite issues of Villain's Month are the ones that are written by the series regular writer(s).  This is the case with Wonder Woman #23.2 where Brian Azzarello gives us the story of the First Born.  

The issue deals with Apollo and his attempt to learn just who this First Born is.  He enlists the aid of the three oracles.  They tell a story of abandonment, betrayal and revenge.  We learn why the First Born hates the gods and may even feel a bit of sympathy for him.  I say a bit because he is definitely evil and will stop at nothing to claim what he believes is rightfully his. He is a villain driven to kill everything and everybody that gets in his way.

Brian Azzerello gives us what is essentially Wonder Woman #24 and I'm glad he did.  There is no lame Forever Evil tie in.  This is the son of Zeus and Hera, why would he have any interest in such trivial pursuits.  When Wonder Woman returns we have a villain we now know is truly evil and powerful.

The biggest compliment I can give ACO's art is that it fits so well into the Wonder Woman universe.  Everything looks great, brutally great.

Brian Azzarello nailed this one.  He established the First Born as a great, powerful villain who is sure to shake up the world when Wonder Woman returns.  This issue is what I wish most of the Villain's Month issues were...great reads that set up the future of their respective series.


Wonder Woman #23.1 Cheetah Review

She's a Maneater

Barbara Minerva had a messed up childhood.  Raised by a cult, forced to go all Hunger Games against her brother, it's no wonder that she became a villain.  But what a villain she became.  Wonder Woman #23.1 does a great job showing not only Cheetah's origin, but the honor, passion and viciousness that make this version great.

John Ostrander does such a great job here.  I admit, I wasn't really looking forward to a Cheetah issue at all.  That changed the minute I started reading.  Seeing the messed up history that shaped Cheetah's life was instantly gratifying.  Her history with Wonder Woman, the Cult of The Goddess of the Hunt and her work with ARGUS all make sense in her becoming The Cheetah. Everything Ostrander shows us makes Cheetah instantly evil and sympathetic at once.  That is a recipe for a great villain in my book.

The art of Victor Ibanez is equally great.  His panel arrangement shows the quick, viciousness that Cheetah uses to hunt her pray.  This is a gory book, but it is beautiful in it's gore.  This is one of the best looking Villains Month books I read this month.

Wonder Woman #23.1 has made me a Cheetah fan.  Ostrander and Ibanez have done a great job making Cheetah a great New 52 Villain.  She is vicious, ruthless and sympathetic.  I can't wait to see more of her and Ostrander and Ibanez in the near future.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Adventures of Superman #22 Review

Superman is busy fighting a giant gorilla in downtown Metropolis when a he overhears that Krypton never was destroyed.

Writer Marc Guggenheim and artist Joe Bennett do a great job in giving us a start to the three part "Tears of Krypton" story arc.  Superman always has an ear out for any mention of Krypton and when he is told his home world never was destroyed, he goes to the only source to verify it.  Back at the Kent homestead he listens to the message from his Father, Jor-El.  It is a well known recording, but hearing it now after the news it does seem a little ambiguous.  Superman must feel the same because he takes flight into space to find out the truth for himself.  What he sees is intriguing and makes me look forward to see where this arc goes.

Adventures of Superman #22 continues the quality this book has had since being introduced.  This may actually be the best Superman book being published now and I don't think anyone who gives this issue a try will be disappointed.


The Flash #23.3 The Rogues Review

They are Family

The Rogues may not be the smartest villains.  They don't have the best powers and they don't always pose the greatest threat to the DCU.  What they do have is each other and as we see in The Flash #23.3, that goes a long way.

The Rogues are so much fun.  They are C list villains and not only know that, but seem the revel in it.  They have a code of honor and when a heist goes wrong, they seem to be the least surprised.  There are so many funny little moments in this issue that I was actually laughing out loud at points.

The Flash #23.3 shows a little team history, including how they got their New 52 powers, but does a great job of mirroring the events of Forever Evil as well.  This issue leads right into the Forever Evil Rogues Rebellion and a battle with Gorilla Grodd.  Like the other Flash Villains Month books, it helps that series regular, Brian Buccellato, is at the helm.

The art by Patrick Zircher is really good.  It is a little less cartoony than the regular Flash series, but it fits the blue collar element the Rogues represent.  Like the Rogues themselves, it is a little more gritty and I like it.

The Rogues are always good fun and The Flash #23.3 is no exception.  They are a Family, they stick together and they never ever kill.  I love them and I loved this issue.  Highly recommended.


Green Lantern #23.4 Sinestro Review

Each DC Superhero has his main villain.  Batman has Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor and Hal Jordan has Sinestro.  In Green Lantern #20 Geoff Johns' said farewell to the Green Lantern Universe by giving us the story of Sinestro's redemption.  A fitting end to the character?  Maybe, but in comics it's hard to keep a good villain down, and Sinestro is a great one.  Green Lantern #23.4 is a retelling of how Sinestro became a Lantern and why he became the Corps greatest villain.

Matt Kindt does a good job of recounting Geoff Johns' version of Sinestro.  We get some behind the scenes looks at him and they are interesting, especially the ones with his wife, Arin Sur.  The whole book reads like a DVD Director's Cut of the Geoff Johns run.  Unfortunately, for those who have followed the story, it is pretty much a recap.  For those new to the GL Universe, this book is a great way to learn about Sinestro without having to search out back issues.

The art of Dale Eaglesham is very good.  The borders are what readers will notice first and the are an amazing addition to the story.  For a story so heavy on recap, making everything look like it fits is the first priority and Eaglesham does it with ease.

Green Lantern #23.4 is a refresher course in Sinestro.  For those in the know already, this book is not really  necessary.  However, it looks like we are going to see more of Sinestro in the near future, so this is a good jumping on point for the uninitiated.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Superman #23.4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Hungry?  Suck on This.

I'm okay with this just to let you know, but it still feels like a guilty pleasure.  Alright I'll just come out with it; Parasite is one of my favorite Superman villains.  Okay it's out.  But seriously this is a underrated villain, and I was so happy to hear he was getting his own title in Villain's Month.  But.....

So we find out that the Parasite was a jerk off bike messenger with the serial killer name of Joshua Michael Allen, who gets confronted by a giant space loogy.  he tries to fight it off and electrocutes it with a downed power line, and accidentally zaps himself as well.  So it looks like he got out of it all with only a few scrapes, and cuts, and a broken leg.  That is until S.T.A.R. Labs contacts him about the encounter.  During a scan of the area the space boogie was on.  For some reason this causes him to spontaneously transform into a skinny purple leech man.  "Okay we'll just turn on this scanner and, Oh no a skinny purple leech man."  Stupid.

So the Parasite wandered around telling us about how he tried to have a normal life, and we all know that he did what he did when he was normal.  Just now he literally sucked the life out of the people around him.  So the Parasite tries to do the only noble thing he had ever done in his life.  Kill himself.  But no, Superman saves him because, well that what he does.  The Parasite gets a taste of the big man, and a fight ensues, and Parasite learns he also got Superman's powers along with the satisfaction of being full.  All's going well for Parasite until the power wears off, and Joshua Michael Allen finds himself in Belle Reve.  Eight months pass until the Crime Syndicate shuts down the world.  And Parasite is hungry.

I'm just very disappointed in this issue.  I don't know if I hyped myself up or what, but by the end of it, I just expected more.  We had a chance to reinvent the Parasite, and make him a interesting character, and what we get is a irredeemable low life dick hole.  This character before he became a monster was the worst kind of asshole, the kind that doesn't know their an asshole.  I might go on with this disappointment for awhile so I better get back to the book.  I hated the character, the story was decent enough, but the artwork really didn't hold my interest.  That's about all I got sorry.  But I'll try to rate it fair and put my own biased opinions aside.  


Batman #23.4 Bane Review

Hide the Little Girls

Bane is a bad guy.  If you don't believe me, ask the little girl he punched in the face in Batman #23.4.  Yes, when he isn't breaking backs he punches little girls.  This is not my only problem with Bane's Villains Month issue though, so you can guess that it is not my favorite issue this week.

What you get with Batman #23.4 is a rehash of Bane's origin story and a lead up to Arkham War.  Not much else.  In fact, Peter Tomasi really doesn't give us much of a story at all.  Bane kills the weak, he hates Batman and wants to take over Gotham.  Oh yea, he also punches little girls.  That's about it. I expect more from a great writer like Tomasi.  I guess if you want Bane's story you can get it here, but  I'd recommend  "Vengeance of Bane" instead.

Graham Nolan's art, on the other hand, is great.  He is one of Bane's original creators so it is great that he is involved and better yet that his art is the highlight.

Batman #23.4 is not a great book.  Peter Tomasi's script doesn't give us much at all to enjoy here.  We get Bane's rehashed origin story and a lame lead up to Arkham War.  The art of Graham Nolan is great but can't make up for the lack of any real story here.  I'd rather punch a little girl than read this again.


Justice League of America #7.4 Review and *SPOILERS*

A Resurrection, In A Comic Book?  Ridiculous.

Alright now we're up to a Villain's Month character that only appeared in one full comic, and who died.  I'm a fan of Black Adam but come on.  They really couldn't find another villain to give a title to?

Back in Kahndaq.  We're told a story about the protector of the country, Black Adam.  How the gods gave him this power after his family was killed, and he used this power to turn the evil dictator to stone, and free the people of Kahndaq.  But the evil gods sent him away and locked him in a prison but one day Black Adam will return.  Oh but we weren't being told this story, a man named Amon was, and the revolutionary group the Sons of Adam want to recruit Amon for his translation skills.  Amon tells his sister who is about peaceful protest about his new organization, and she's not happy about all the killing and the blowing up of things that the group does.  Huh.  But Amon will not hear it.

Amon meets the Sons of Adam in the desert where they give him a parchment from the book of the dead.  Amon translates it, and before he can complete the incantation to revive Black Adam, the Kahndaq army shows up to kill the terrorist group.  Amon is shot.  Amon's sister races to him, and before he dies he begs his sister to finish the spell, and say the word of power, SHAZAM!  Black Adam has returned.

The army believes that this is just a trick from the resistance.  So the best way to prove a trick?  Yeah lets shoot it in the head.  Oh silly Kahndaq army.  The Sons of Adam quickly tell Black Adam the score, and he goes on a rampage of murder and mayhem in the name of freedom.  In the end Black Adam kills the ruler of Kahndaq by literally crushing him with the throne.  Black Adam sits on the rubble of the throne content with himself, when all the power goes out.  On a screen he reads "This world is ours".  All angry and Black Adam like he proclaims "This world belongs to no one".

Alright.  Black Adam, yeah.  I really liked this issue with one exception.  Now I know I'm a comic book fan, I've been reading them most of my life, but I thought we had gotten to the point where if a character dies, he just doesn't come back right away because it suits a story.  I don't know maybe I'm way off base, but couldn't we of had another Shazam villain if that's what they wanted?  Dr. Sivana couldn't of filled the role of a Villain's Month?  Anyway this is going to become ranting if I don't stop myself so, this issue was really good, and I'd recommend it to anyone who read the Shazam back ups in Justice League.  With all that said, I guess just check it out.


Action Comics #23.4 Metallo Review

He'll be Back

I have to admit, I don't have much of a history with Metallo.  My first exposure was the early New 52 Action Comics issues he was in.  Truth be told, I forgot all about him since.  Sholly Fisch and Steve Pugh give us Metallo in Action Comics #23.4 and while he still isn't my favorite, I liked this issue.

The New 52 Metallo origin has been told.  This story picks up after the failed "Metal-Zero" experiment.  Master Sargent John Corben is in a coma in need of a "jolt".  Maybe kryptonite will do the trick?  Nothing could go wrong with that plan, right?  Well, it does revive him and he is put into service as a cyborg weapon.  Unfortunately, Corben was never psychologically stable and it shows on the battlefield.  It is the standard "but I get the job done" and "I do what no one else wants too" story.  The US Government doesn't see it that way and they betray Sgt. Corben and leave him for dead...twice.  Metallo is hard to kill though, and the issue ends with him being recruited to the Secret Society by Scarecrow.

Sholly Fisch does a great job taking the mess of an origin of Metallo and making him into a dangerous and interesting villain.  I actually want to see how Superman deals with Metallo in the future.

Steve Pugh's art is fantastic.  Metallo walking the ocean floor is a standout as well as the splash page of his exploding jet.

Villain Month has been more miss than hit to me.  Sholly Fisch and Steve Pugh give us the continuing origin of Metallo and I liked it.  We get an understanding of his motivations and see how deep his hate for those who wronged him is.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Justice League #23.4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Evil Alfred Has a Secret, and He's Not Telling...Probably Till Next Issue.

Hey kids! an interesting origin story!  YAY!  Alright enough of that.  It's not so much of an origin story but it is Owlman on Earth 3 which is where he originated from.....Yeah I'm really stretching this.  Yeah so this issue of Justice League we're dealing with the Secret Society, and by Secret Society I'm talking about Owlman and the Outsider, and by Owlman, and the Outsider I'm talking about Earth 3.  Okay okay, I'm sorry.  But this is actually pretty fun.

Let's get into it.  We're told that Evil Alfred has a secret and he's not telling.  But he lets it slip that it's about why he has devoted his life to Owlman.  So mysterious.  Anyway into the meat of it.  Evil Alfred is driving down the alleyways of Gotham tracking Owlman's signal as he jumps rooftops.  Talon "Evil Night Wing" is missing, and the Joker is loose in the city.  So think of everything you know about Batman and the Joker, and reverse it BAM! Earth 3.  Owlman has control of Gotham, and rules it with an iron fist.  Joker wants to destroy the control he has and introduce chaos to free the people.  

Owlman catches up to Joker, but the joker has laid out wrapped presents that look like a stick figure body.  Owlman opens the boxes and finds the body parts of Talon.  The Joker is about to attack Owlman with killer cards, but before he can Evil Alfred shoots two of this fingers off.  We see that Talon ran off to confront the Joker because Owlman told him that the Joker killed his parents.  The Outsider is not happy about the decision in telling him, and he's also not happy about Owlman banging SuperWoman when Talon was being murdered.  While the two are arguing the Joker gets the upper hand again and shoots Joker Venom onto Evil Alfred's face.  The Outsider starts laughing as you'd image, and Owlman throws Joker off a roof.  Owlman injects the Outsider with a cure, and the police overhead decide this is the perfect time to take out Owlman.

In the end the police go down, and the skies turn red.  The Crime Syndicate need to escape their dying world.  As we've seen Outsider, and Atomica are the only two to escape. The Outsider starts the Secret Society, and now Nightwing is tied up, and the Outsider isn't happy that Owlman just won't kill him.  Owlman wants to turn Nightwing to their side.  But the Outsider wants to convince him to kill him.

This was a really fun issue, just because of the Earth 3 stuff.  I love seeing the multiverse in action.  There really isn't much to say about this besides the fact that it's about time we get to the meat of what really happening in the DC Universe.  It really got me hyped for Forever Evil #2.  The artwork was great, the story was fun.  My only downside is I hate being left in suspense.  This seemed to be a bit of a prologue to the next issue of Forever Evil, than it's own stand alone.  Anyways check it out.


Batman: The Dark Knight #23.4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Duela's Bringing Ugly Back.  

Now we're up to a character that has caused a big stir in DC readers, causing such a stir that people actually read the last issue of Cat Woman, and now she's in her own Villain's Month whether she deserves it or not.  Joker's Daughter.

We get an origin of the Joker's Daughter and her fucked up life, and we get the origin on how she became leader of a tribe in the Gotham Underground.  Sadly after reading I care less than I did before.  But let's start out this review.  Duela goes underwater to where a section of Gotham used to be before they flooded it to make the Gotham Reservoir.  Her intent is to find things worth bartering for.  Alright so he have the beginning of this book taking a cue from Water World.  Not where you want to be right now book.  So she finds a piece of metal shaped like a crescent moon.  Back to the surface.  There she looks into the water to see her reflection.  At first she thought she was beautiful, oh but really it's a loose face floating in the water.  Joker's face.  So as she puts it "Ugly is the new beautiful"  so she obviously puts the face on.  

So what does a young girl with a new face do?  She goes out to fight for women everywhere.  Well everywhere in her surrounding area.  The whole issue becomes about men bad, women good.  So because it seems clever she puts the crescent on a piece of wood and heats it up and brands smiles into the men's faces.  And everyone goes with it because apparently everyone in this tribe was from Arkham, and remembers when the Joker ran things, and the face has power.  Duela then goes to the tribe leader Charon, and even though he wants her to join, since she's an empowered Joker faced woman she has to fight him for leadership.

She loses, so what do we get next?  A origin story like we just got from Larfleeze a few months back.  She tells a story, but everything we see says different.  Basically she was a fucked up kid that killed animals and cut herself and her parents didn't know what to do with her, so she ran away to the luxurious Gotham Underground.  So now that Charon drops his guard from her creepiness, she brands a smile on his face, and all of the tribe rejoices.  All hail women.

So much for hype.  This story is what you'd expect from Ann Nocenti lately, she tries really hard but in the end you decide to drop that title all together.  The artwork isn't bad, but it isn't enough to save the issue.  The story began like Water World and by the end I'm surprised the Joker's Daughter didn't have the whole Gotham Underground burning their bras.  I usually don't say things like this but save yourself the money and pick up a different book, hell get a back issue of Superboy, or Green Arrow, they won't be as bad as this.


Batman/Superman #3.1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Doomsday?  Zod?  I Don't Really Know.

On Krypton a few years back, the House of El sits around on Remembrance Day, and talks about what happened.  Yup Kryptonian ghost stories.  

Fun fact that I didn't know was that Lara was a soldier, and during the assault of the monster, she fought Doomsday.  But she was terribly overwhelmed.  That is until the Zod shows up and takes the monster on.  A great battle ensues and they talk about how many people died during this battle which just made me think of the Man of Steel movie, and the battle of Metropolis.  "Never Forget".  
But just as your getting into the story Lara is telling us, there is a scream off panel.  Zor El runs in Kara's room and we find that she has been listening to Aunt Lara's story, and wants to hear more.  He tells her about Zod doing bad things, and being sentenced to exile in the Phantom Zone.  Then we get a big filler in the story about the legend of the House of El that Zor El tells Kara.  We then see him tell her the Death of Superman story.  I wonder if the El Legend ruined comics for the Kryptonians?

Alright back to the story, kind of.  After Zor El leaves Kara's room a spectral Zod shows up and tells Kara more of the story.  But nothing definitive.  We don't know what happened to Doomsday, if he got captured in the Phantom Zone, or what.  But it's either that or Zod became Doomsday, because the spectral energy keeps changing between Zod, and Doomsday, so I have no idea.  But Zod tells of the day that he will be strong enough to walk through the portal and be flesh again, so I guess the same could be said for Doomsday.

I would of really preferred a straight forward story of Remembrance Day like the book started.  But what we got was a cluttered story that didn't seem to know what it wanted to be.  The artwork by Brett Booth was fantastic like always, but when I end a story and I don't know what exactly went on, I find myself robbed a bit.  Greg Pak is a decent writer so I have no idea why the middle of this issue becomes the Death of Superman story.  Just seemed like filler that didn't need to be there.


Aquaman #23.2 Ocean Master Review

Show Orm the Way to Go Home

Orm is an Atlantean who just wants to go home.  That basically sums up Aquaman #23.2.  With the chaos of Forever Evil happening around him, Orm just wants someone to point the way to the Ocean and all will be good.

This was a pretty good issue.  It fits snugly into the main series with only the backdrop of Forever Evil as a tie-in.  Orm doesn't concern himself with the Secret Society or even the craziness of the Belle Reve breakout.  His only concern is the ocean and getting back to Atlantis.  Orm is not a bad guy.  He just has his own motivations and methods.

He also looks awesome.  Artist  Geraldo Borges does an excellent job keeping this issue consistant to the series at whole.  It helps that regular colorist Rod Reis is involved as well.

Aquaman #23.2 is a good issue.  Orm is not a true villain.  He isn't a horrible guy intent on the destruction of the World.  He is a man who just wants to go home and make sure his people are ok.   I loved Orm before this issue and it did nothing to quell that love.


Batman and Robin #23.4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Killer Croc 4:  This Time It's Personal

Holy hell it's the end of Villain's Month and we got through it relatively unscathed.  But before we can close the book on this DC Event, we have a few more stories to look at and remark over.  Right now its Killer Croc.

This story jumps throughout time as a lot of the other Villain's Month issues have done, but this one makes you care a little bit more.  A handful of GCPD's dirtier cops make their way down into the Gotham sewers, looking for a supposed key that will open a safe deposit box with evidence against them in it.  We travel back a few weeks to a not so dirty cop who is refusing to take a bribe from his fellow officers.  So the cops do the only thing that a crooked cop could do in this instance.  They shoot him in the head and dump his body below the docks.  Well they were seen, and a note was sent to them telling about the key, and to go to the sewers to retrieve it, also bring money.  

Killer Croc devastates the team once they're far enough in the tunnels, leaving two survivors.  They think they have found help when they notice children down one of the tunnels, but instead of help, a child with an old ore breaks the one officers leg, and then the children scatter down the tunnels.  But they kids aren't done yet.  Nope let's make this even more terrifying.  Let's turn out the lights.  Alright lets get up to speed.  We have two cops left, one with a broken leg, and they are in the dark with only a single pair of night vision goggles.  Oh and they're still planning on getting the key.  

At the end of the tunnel they come to a service door, and inside is the decaying body of the cop they killed weeks ago.  The officer gets the key and turns around right in time to see his partner killed by Killer Croc.  The officer tries to get away, but falls into a trap filled with stakes.  He's stuck.  Oh yeah Croc kills him too.  In the end we see Croc as a boy, and the only person who was ever nice to him happened to be the officer that this team of cops killed.  So Croc got his revenge for his first friend.  The story closes with Killer Croc giving a viking funeral to his friend surrounded by the down trodden of society, that he has taken in.  Who refer to our scaly friend as King Croc.

Not really an origin story, but had the qualities of one, and not a bad one at that.  But what we're really looking at is a revenge story, and it was fun seeing Killer Croc in this kind of role.  Also we finally see Jason Todd wearing the Robin costume in flashback which was fun, and the beginning of a new story line which should of been the real story line in that awful Gotham Underground going on in Cat Woman.  This was a solid issue with a good story, and solid art, and I hope we get to see more of Killer Croc in the future now that he seems to be done in Bat Woman.  (or not who knows anymore)  Great issue check it out.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Justice League #23.3 Dial E Review

A Dial Not Many Will Answer

Dial H was a daring, inventive and horribly selling title.  When it was announced I wondered how it could possibly survive, but with China Mieville writing I knew it would be interesting.  When the inevitable happened and it was canceled I was surprised to hear it was getting a Villains Month issue, especially under the Justice League name.  Could this be a way to introduce new readers to the world of The Dial and all of it's craziness?  Unfortunately, no.

The story takes place during the beginning chaos of Forever Evil.  With superheros gone and minor thugs running amok, a group of kids get their fingers on the Dial.  What follows is a roll call of super villains all stranger than the last.  This is the charm and the downfall of the issue.  Yes, the characters are great.  Some have funny names, some have the most inventive powers and others just pop off the page.  However, we never get to know them and the fast pace makes the story confusing.  China Mieville does end the story in a way that will put a smile on any of the handful that followed the book.  I just wish it had the fun and heart of the actual series.

I would list the artists but I don't know if I have enough space.  There are twenty two artists.  Yes, twenty two.  One for each page.  It may sound ridiculous, but it works.  Each Dial villain gets its own look.
Cartoony one page, highly detailed the next and so on.  I went back to look at each artists page to see their take and style.  It's like looking through each of their portfolios.

Overall, this isn't the issue that will turn people on to the Dial H Universe.  It is interesting, but also very confusing.  As a coda, I don't think it succeeds.


Teen Titans #23.2 Review and *SPOILERS*

Striking the Deathblow to DeathStroke.

So who out there wants a re-imagined origin for DeathStroke?  Well it doesn't matter you'll get it anyway.

What can I say about this issue?  The only thing that comes to mind is "I don't get it."  We're given a back and forth story about DeathStroke's origin, what he did before he became the terminator, and how he used to work with his first son Grant, until his death.  While we see DeathStroke about to assassinate someone in the present.  Who is this someone?  I wish I could tell you, but they don't say in the entire issue.  I don't know if you have to be up to speed on DeathStroke's cancelled title, or another cancelled title Team 7, and if that's the case then I am sadly in the dark.  So I guess that's all I can give you, besides the fact that apparently the reason DeathStroke takes these jobs is to earn money to keep his new family in the dark, and safe from what he does.

Remember that old saying?  "Every issue is somebodies first issue."  Well hopefully with this issue that is never the case, because if it is the reader will get a cluttered story, that will make no sense.  I read this issue a few times, and still didn't get the whole story.  Now I'm not completely informed on the whole New 52 DeathStroke story, but I figured I could read this and walk away with something.  Nope.  Awful Teen Titans issue, and is the first Villain's Month issue I really see no use for.