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Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 2

Blackest Night: Titans 2

by J.T. Krul and Ed Benes

Donna Troy’s particular dilemma is gruesome, and feels creepy like a horror movie. The colorists are working overtime with the whole Blackest Night event, taking care to portray the right color and effect for each scene. The difference is startling, and the dark and black images that come with the event are contrasted beautifully with things like Starfire’s fiery flight wake, and Garfield’s green shape-changing.

The characterization of some things is a bit off. For example, Starfire claims that she never liked Terra, but the opposite is true. Kory liked everyone back in the day, it was Terra that despised all the others. I’m not sure why they did that, but it shows that the writer doesn’t have the best grasp on the history of the characters. The spotlight on Hawk and Dove is nice, though.

Tempest and company show up to highlight the fact that a ton of Titans have fallen in the line of duty. Also, Donna may be infected by her baby’s bite, so there may be more than one way to be taken over by the effect. This is another cool aspect of the mini-series tie-ins, you have a chance to learn a little something new in each one of them; it adds to the overall story, without making you feel like it’s just a marketing ploy to wring as much out of the crossover as possible. You almost wish these were longer, as a matter of fact.

Justice League of America 80 Page Giant 1

by various

The League gets split up by Epoch and scattered through time, conveniently in groups of two, always. The Time Commander is Epoch’s target, but the Time Commander himself is after his hourglass, so maybe we will see more of his agenda in a future issue of the regular series, or maybe over in Booster Gold.

JT Krul has an okay story with Green Lantern and Red Arrow, illustrated by Ardian Syaf. The scene where Roy asks Cinnamon about Chay-ara is good, since she is one of the reincarnations of Hawkwoman. The rest of the stories are so-so, but not the most memorable. The whole thing seems to be a place to give some newer artists a chance to show their stuff. It is nice to see some characters from DC’s past, though, including the Shining Knight and the original Crimson Avenger.

The Last Days of Animal Man 5

by Gerry Conway and Chris Batista

Wow, are things getting lazy. The second page of art is mostly white space behind the characters, and it doesn’t get a whole lot better from there. Batista’s art, if you can call it that, consists of the barest of sketches, and not much for anyone else to do, with all the white space left there. Bloodrage and Prismatik take out the League of Titans, and there’s even a mistake on the first page, as the narration tells us the heroes are approaching the HQ of the League of Justice. So it’s not just the artist getting lazy and sloppy.

What’s worse is that Prismatik can take out foes like Superman and Power Girl, but Animal Man is still walking after the thrashing they give him. For whatever reason, the two villains are going easy on him, just kind of batting him around, like playing with a mouse. There is still no big reason for Buddy to be their main focus, especially when you can make a bigger statement by killing Superman. It’s all just window-dressing anyway, for a mid-life crisis that plays out worse than the cliché that followed by all the variations of It’s A Wonderful Life, as it takes losing his powers for Buddy to realize what’s truly important. And then he leaves his family again anyway to go fight the bad guys.

Biggest crash and burn for a DC mini-series in a long time.

Wonder Woman 36

by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti

Ever wonder if the writer has trouble filling in all the pages of a story? Because we open with a memory of Nemesis telling Wonder Woman, “You lied to me, Princess,” it’s repeated on page four, and then on page ten it’s, “You lied to me, Dianna.” So either they forgot it was Princess instead of Diana, which is pretty bad, or Tom had to say it two or three times, which is lame.

I wanted to say that Lopresti does what he can with what he’s given, but he doesn’t. We get to a point where Diana wraps up Nemesis and they take a trip to her soul. That’s right, her soul. It’s pitch-black, with nothing in it. No joke. Can you imagine what a George Perez or a Jim Steranko or a Steve Ditko would have done with the instructions to depict Wonder Woman’s soul?!? Maybe he was given these artistic directions, but talk about a waste of potential! I would have loved to see Lopresti do an artistic interpretation of the Amazon’s soul. Instead, it’s just an empty scene, much like every attempt in the last five years to make something meaningful out of the character.

The story itself is moderately okay, with fight against Achilles later that’s fun, but the whole mating thing with Nemesis was supposed to perpetuate the Amazon race. Tom walks away, at least, which is what a person who acts as a spy for his life would tend to do. Dianna should have known better, and it never made sense for someone, who by his very nature was deceptive, would catch the eye of Dianna. Nemesis has done some dirty things in his past, and his treatment in this title has been nothing short of criminal.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.