So, I’m going to be dropping Teen Titans after what’s happened in this latest issue. Why? Well, click behind “Read More” and you’ll find out.


The exact pages in question can be found here.

For those that don’t want to slog through it, I’ll explain the problem:

Marvin and Wendy, the two teenage Superfriends carryovers who run maintenance on the tower, discover a strange dog that’s landed on the island and they decide to take it in. In the same book, they’re discussing how they should leave, since they serve no purpose there. After getting reassurance from Cyborg and Red Devil that they are in fact wanted around there, the Wonderdog they adopted turns into a giant monster and kills them gratuitously on panel.

Let me be even more accurate: Wendy discovers the monstrous dog eating her dead brother, only to have said dog start chasing her through the tower. She cries out for help through the intercoms, but since they’re still under repair, she can’t get to them, and then, while crying and continuing to try to escape, she’s eventually cornered by the monster and killed off-panel.

You know, I gave McKeever a lot of credit last time for the team-up issue with Red Devil and Blue Beetle. I thought it was funny, entertaining, and I thought things might actually be turning around in this book. But now, McKeever has apparently decided to fall back on a horrible shock tactic of murdering two teenage supporting characters to show… what, exactly? That comics aren’t for kids? That he’s not writing Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane anymore?

People gave a lot of trust to McKeever because of his previous experience in writing teen heroes. Even I gave him that trust. That trust, I can see, is unfounded. His stories have been lifeless, the characters have been moody, unnecessarily dark, and just plain unlikeable. Beyond Issue #61, I see no reason why any of these teens feel like they’d want to hang around with each other as friends or as a team.

I got into comics because of Devin Grayson’s run on Titans. I loved that book and I’ve stuck with it through hard times and good times, but this is it. I don’t buy comics so I can read about a teenage girl fleeing for her life and crying the whole time without hope of rescue until she’s slaughtered by some monster. This isn’t a slasher flick, Sean – it’s supposed to be a positive book, giving hope for the future of heroism. I am dropping Teen Titans and until McKeever either shapes up or we get a better writer on the book, I’m not looking back.

And don’t even get me started on Eddie Barrows’ artwork, and this is coming from a guy who usually doesn’t notice bad artwork unless he’s actually looking for it.

In any case, I think I’ll leave Martin Sheen to sum up my feelings on Sean McKeever right now:

So, after seeing the Star Wars: Clone Wars film (though “film” is probably too generous a description), I think I deserve millions of dollars since I think I can write a Star Wars movie just as good as George Lucas can. Here’s a brief outline of how such a film, if doing it how George Lucas does films, would go:

-Opening Crawl, accompanied by triumphant music and goofy names (or, in the case of Clone Wars, a goofy narrator SPEAKING the opening crawl in contrast to the rest of the series), making the goofier names even goofier-sounding when they’re actually spoken out loud.

-CRASH BOOM POW DIE! Action sequence!

-Brief, talky expositional scene. “Actors” should be as bland as possible when speaking. Faces should convey no emotion whatsoever.

-CRASH BOOM POW DIE! Action sequence!

-Longer talky expositional scene. “Actors” should be as bland as possible when speaking. Faces should convey no emotion whatsoever.

-Brief talky expositional scene. “Actors” should speak their dialogue with a tone of voice that implies they really want to get the scene done with because they’ve got Baseball tickets. Be sure to mention a “disturbance” at least once.

-CRASH BOOM POW DIE! Action sequence!

-Repeat steps 2-7 at least six times. Sprinkle in droid humor when appropriate (or when it’s most inappropriate).

-CRASH BOOM POW YOU’RE BREAKING MY HEART! Action sequence with forced dialogue that’s supposed to be emotional but doesn’t convey any emotion whatsoever!

-Characters standing dramatically. Triumphant music and end credits!

Movie producers, feel free to contact me on appropriate payment methods so I can begin writing my own science fiction epic.

AFTERWORD: Anakin’s padawan, Ahsoka Tano, was actually quite badass. Only redeemable trait of the whole thing, IMHO.

Batman #147

As a change of pace, I did a recap of one part of a Silver-Age Batman story for one of my favorite sites, The Agony Booth.

As such, you can find the review HERE!

Here’s a panel from the pages of Action Comics #868 that just came out, written by Geoff Johns:

My, my, my. That was a compelling joke that spoke to the foibles of everyday living in a universe where superheroes regularly interact with other people while also making comment of the increased use of plastic surgery in society and making a criticism about personality types that may be led to engage in such a practice. Simply a fine, fine joke worthy of one of DC’s longest-lasting titles.

Captain Picard, would you be interested in commenting on a joke worthy of Shakesperean irony?

Well, in the above pic is gossip columnist Catherine Grant, a supporting cast member of Superman’s book who had a storyline in the 90s about her son getting murdered by the Toyman, leading to a very emotionally-charged series of events where she almost kills Toyman until deciding not to.

Admittedly, I am not a Superman or Action Comics reader. But I know other people are and they get bummed when they see their characters acting strangely. Forgiving the fact that Supergirl has been on earth long enough to know about breast implants, just the juvenile attitude to which the subject is approached here is annoying, but we’ll get to that in a second.

My information about Cat Grant comes from Wikipedia and scans I’ve seen of her on the livejournal group Scans_Daily. As such, while Wikipedia mentions that Cat Grant’s new revealing clothing and promiscuous attitude may just be a cover-up for the death of her son… that storyline, as I remember, is over ten years old. Now, it could be said that a parent may never get over the death of their child, but if she really does have breast implants, then I’m pretty sure that one has to undergo certain evaluations before one can get cosmetic surgery like that (though it may vary from state to state), including psychological ones, so getting cosmetic surgery in order to escape from the harsh reality of the world where one’s child was murdered may not be the kind of thing that gets an “APPROVED” stamp for the surgery.

And while some individuals may seem to overdo it a bit and have kind of disturbing attitudes about it (the TV show “Bullshit” once did an episode on cosmetic surgery and showcased a man and woman who want to be as close as possible to Barbie and Ken dolls), it’s ultimately a person’s choice whether or not they want to undergo surgery and this juvenile response to it just because Cat Grant may have acted a little stand-offish (the coming writer for Supergirl has said that Cat Grant will become a foil for Kara) is no reason for Geoff Johns to toss an insult like this at her.

Hey, here’s a thought – maybe Cat Grant had breast cancer, got surgery to treat it, but then underwent cosmetic surgery to restore some sense of normalcy to her body? But that’s the thing – a pervailing attitude that says that all cosmetic surgery must be because of shallow reasons. And even if a majority of women do do it for shallow purposes, why the hell is it necessary to belittle people for it? It’s THEIR bodies to do with as they please.

Soooo, some may have noticed that the new blogging structure of blogging about whatever the heck I want to hasn’t quite worked out, since there are still delays and whatnot. Part of this is because I have a life, part of it is a lack of items I wish to comment on, and another part is me trying to sift through the eight years of Penny Arcade strips so that I can start regularly reading them (a sad compulsion of mine to want to know the full backstory of something before I jump in… after all, how would I understand the concept of the Fruit-Effin’ machine if I hadn’t read the back-strips?), and another part is attempting to maintain a webcomic while also trying to look for successful ways of getting my fiction writing out there.

So needless to say I’ve been busy with lots of stuff (yeah, you’ve heard that excuse before) so I haven’t done much in terms of blogging about comics in general or my opinions about anything. So, here, let’s get my opinion on DC’s latest event.

It’s okay so far. I seem to be one of the few people out there who really enjoyed Infinite Crisis when it came out.

While there were certainly parts I didn’t enjoy (The Titans Massacre, for one), I found the story compelling, big, and altogether entertaining and a worthwhile continuation of the events from Crisis On Infinite Earths. Even the four miniseries that didn’t at first seem to have anything to do with the story were wrapped into it, because you had talented people writing, talented people on art, and overall things were coordinated well (save for a time when an issue or two was late).

Let’s go back to the artwork thing for a second, though, because this is really what my complaint about Final Crisis stems from, and how it builds into a larger point. For the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, we had George Perez on art duties, simply a comics legend because of his ability to draw a cast of hundreds and still make them all look accurate and wearing either what they wore at the time or their last known appearance in DC. Plus Perez was also doing the monthly New Teen Titans at the time and he managed to pull it all off, PLUS the covers for the series.

Following up from that in Infinite Crisis, twenty years later, we have another legend – Phil Jimenez. Like Perez, Jimenez is superbly talented, capable of crafting a complex page with a cast of hundreds and still make them look accurate. Now, admittedly, books got delayed at times either to match up with events happening at the same time in other books or art was simply rushed (the changes in the Infinite Crisis collection vs. the original individual issues, for example). And yet the final product was still awesome. Since this was still the follow-up to the masterpiece that was Crisis on Infinite Earths, George Perez returned for art duties on the covers, with Jim Lee doing an alternate print cover.

Now we get to Final Crisis. Here’s one of the two covers to issue #3.

This is just LAME. I mean, scroll back up and look at that cover to the hardcover of Infinite Crisis (which even extends around to the back cover of the book!) and then compare it to this one. We have several thematic elements depicted, including the breaking of the trinity, a bunch of villains standing together, deictions of the scene at Alexander Luthor’s tower, the red skies effect, and a distraught Earth-2 Superman.

And what are we getting in Final Crisis?

Two-thirds of the page are MISSING. Just painted red and proclaimed, “Hell with it!” The artwork itself within the book and on the covers is okay, since J.G. Jones IS a good artist, but where’s the grandeur of the previous Crisis covers? Where are hundreds of heroes gathered together to fight one unstoppable menace, risking their lives for it all?

Look at the cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 from Wikipedia:

THAT IS A FREAKING COVER. It’s bold, it’s epic, and it’s just well-drawn! It’s everything you want in an issue of your big, universe-spanning crossover! But no, instead we get single characters drawn lazily in one small section of the cover witha generic font for the title. And again, the titles for both Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis were individually made, since you want your title to also reflect the mood of your book in some capacity. This looks like it was thrown together at the last minute for a NOVEL, and not a very good novel, either. It doesn’t really catch the eye, especially with all the red tint over it. You just kind of glance over it as you look through the comic aisle.

The alternate covers aren’t really any better. Sure, they’ll take advantage of the full space of the cover, unlike these, but the text is even worse there, making it semi-transparent over part of the human body. THIS is how you do your massive, universe-spanning crossover to complete the trilogy of mega Crossovers? Not to mention we’re not exactly dying for another one so soon.

Infinite Crisis felt good also because it had been a few years since we’d had another big crossover. Not to mention the build up for it had been for quite a while before the actual book came out, with cosmic enemies or future characters talking about “a crisis approaching” that no one was quite certain how it was going to turn out. As such, when the book itself happened, the events in it were actually surprising! But then after the book completed, we’ve had events and mini-events, like Amazons Attack, Countdown, and a few other titles that had tie-ins even though it made no sense to have tie-ins to these things. People are experiencing event fatigue.

Furthermore, Infinite Crisis CONTINUED the story of Crisis on Infinite Earths, making it a direct sequel where just a lot of stuff had happened between the times the books came out. Final Crisis has come out a mere two years after Infinite Crisis, and from the looks of it, it’s not continuing the story! And then here’s the problem that I have with it, as exemplified by the covers:


Grant Morrison has said in interviews that originally this story was supposed to be just a separate, stand-alone thing involving the New Gods and following up on his Seven Soldiers of Victory mini-series. Somehow this ballooned up into this event that not even DC seems to actually care about making it in the same vein as their previous Crises. It’s like when Hollywood decides to put out another movie in a series simply because they want to keep cashing in on it. And don’t get me wrong, Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones are making a good story, but this doesn’t feel like a Crisis. This doesn’t feel like the end of the world, “oh-my-God-how-will-they-get-out-of-this?!” kind of thing.

I’m going to keep reading the story of course because as I said, it’s a good story. However, DC needs to rethink what helps make their events work in the future.