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This Week in Panels: Week 106

October 2nd, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Before I get started, I’d just like to point out that I’ve succeeded in improving Marvel’s miniseries event Fear Itself. Behold!

I’d read the hell out of that comic. Anyway, got a gigantic set of panels this week. Not only did I read way more than can be considered healthy, but I’m joined by David, Was Taters, Space Jawa and Luis. This is a week where we’ve been blessed with Venom vs. Anti-Venom, which is a great way to distract me from the unfortunate sadness that comes from Anti-Venom’s impending death/depowering.

:(

All-Star Western #1 (Gavin’s pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat

All-Star Western #1 (Was Taters’ pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat

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Is this Damian?

November 23rd, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

The DCU blog has a preview of Teen Titans #89, when Damian joins the team. 

Here is some sample dialog:

“The only joke that I see is Beast Boy.  My first order of business will be kicking him to the curb.  We’ll call him if we ever need a talking chipmunk.”

“Should have left it alone, One-Eyed Jackie.”

“You’re funny.  Look even funnier when I take out your other eye.”

List of things Damian should not be saying:

1.  Nicknames.  This is a kid who calls Alfred ‘Pennyworth.’

2.  Sentences with dropped articles.  This is a kid who calls his dad, ‘Father.’

3.  Contractions.  I don’t think Morrison’s Damian ever really used them.

4.  The phrase ‘kick him to the curb’ or any slang that would be seen before the turn of the last century.

Renting Damian out to various titles is good.  He’s a funny character and an obnoxious little snot.  They’ve got that part down.

One of the main reasons he’s funny, though, is the fact that he’s a child who speaks like an 18th century vampire.  The kid was raised by a family of functionally immortal aristocratic ninjas.  Having him talk like that smart-ass kid from around the corner doesn’t work on any level.  This character has one of the most recognizable ways of speaking in the DCU.  The only character easier to single out through speech alone would be Bizarro.  A few obnoxious remarks just don’t cut it.

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Cripes on Infinite Earths Part 2: Scissors, Paper, Stone

September 21st, 2010 Posted by guest article

Guest article by Fletcher “Syrg” Arnett.

Well looky here, already we’re having a change of plans. After reading Empowered vol. 6 this week the blurb at the end informed me Adam Warren had written an Elseworlds story. Given that I’d rank Empowered as my book of the week (if not for the solid month), pulling this out of the stack took precedence over the first of the Bland Bat-Batallion of stories.

Titans – Scissors, Paper, Stone
Written by: Adam Warren
Art by: Tom Simmons with Adam Warren
Focuses on: Teen Titans
Self-contained/Multiple books: Self-contained
Published in: 1997
Central premise: Far-future teens taking on the role of the Teen Titans to stop an immenent “gigaclysm”
Martian Manhunter Out of Fucking Nowhere? No

I’m going to be entirely honest: I’m terrible with the Teen Titans. I don’t know a fucking thing about them, I’ve only read Terror Titans and a couple of issues of the latest series, and that was all for Static, baby. (Consequently, I’m not reading another issue of the damn thing, because two mistakes were enough, and I don’t like being the jilted lover. Fuck you, DC.) I picked up Tiny Titans for a bit but dropped it when my kid sister stopped reading it as well and I needed to slash the budget.

This is very much not the usual Titans story. (Or maybe it is? I’m willing to bet not though.) Rather than run through some massively-plotted concept and try and cram it into 50-60 pages, Warren just gets us into the thick of things pretty quickly and alternates explanation (mostly origins for our motley crew) and action, with small bursts of character building beyond the hero template each mimics.

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Fourcast! 45: Teen Titans vs New Warriors

May 17th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

-Continuity Off!
-Esther on Teen Titans!
-David on New Warriors!
-Of course, New Warriors: Reality Check is out of print. It was a good story if you can find it.
-True story: next week is the Fourcast’s one year anniversary and you won’t believe what we have planned.
-I mean, you won’t believe that we don’t have anything planned.
-(Plan something for us please.)
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-See you, space cowboy!

Subscribe to the Fourcast! via:
Podcast Alley feed!
RSS feed via Feedburner
iTunes Store

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The Redemption of Sean McKeever

April 29th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Sentinel was most likely the first Sean McKeever book I ever read. It hit in 2003, right about when I’d pretty much given up any hope of not getting back into comics. Marvel did me the favor of launching the Tsunami line around that time, with a bunch of new series built for the manga/teen reader. I picked it up, spurred on mostly by UDON’s art, and thought it was pretty good. A boy and his giant death robot out having adventures. Kinda simple, but it worked. Not great, but enjoyable. He later picked up Mystique from Brian K Vaughan and did a solid job there, too.

What really sold me on him was his writing on Mary Jane with Takeshi Miyazawa and Gravity with Mike Norton. Gravity is one of those books that played with the Marvel Universe in an interesting way. Greg Willis, a kid from the middle of nowhere, gained gravity-based powers. Now, he’s grown up in the Marvel U, where heroes have been active for about as long as he’s been alive. So, what does he do? He moves to New York City for college, with a side of superheroing. He sucks at it. And then he gets better.

Mary Jane, though, was excellent work. It was, boiled down, Spider-Man’s Girlfriend Mary Jane. McKeever scripted a high school drama from Mary Jane’s point of view that was part Saved by the Bell, part reinvention of the early era of the Spider-mythos, and part romance comic. Spider-Man figured large in the series, with Peter Parker firmly in the background. It was a good series, and managed to spinoff a sequel miniseries and then a full-blown ongoing called Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane.

2007: Sean McKeever moves across the street to DC Comics. He jumps into Countdown with both feet and, well, it sucked. Everyone sucked on Countdown, though, so maybe that was just the fist of editorial fiat cramping his style. He took over Teen Titans in issue 50. Twenty-one issues and a mini-series later, there were, what, a lot of dead Titans and a whole lot of comics that weren’t exactly worth reading? McKeever gave up the reins to the book, and instead scripted a back-up feature starring Ravager that run until issue 81.

In late 2009, McKeever came back to Marvel with Nomad: Girl Without A World. Nomad was Rikki Barnes, an alternate universe’s Bucky who was trapped on Earth. She had no hope of getting back home, so she was trying to make do with the life she was given. A story about a teenage girl hero trying to find where she belongs? McKeever killed on it. It was a good story, the sort of pitch-perfect teen work that I expected to see out of him when he took on the Titans. It clicked. It worked.

McKeever got an upgrade. Nomad was moved to a back-up story in Ed Brubaker’s Captain America, boosting its profile and reminding Marvel fans that McKeever was back. Though the hardcore espionage tone of Captain America clashed with Nomad‘s free-wheeling teen action, the story was good. It was simple stuff, a hero having to solve a mystery and make a friend (Araña, a heroine dating from the days when Gravity debuted), but it was good. It’s what you want out of teen comics.

Later this year, McKeever and David Baldeon, the artist on Nomad, are launching Young Allies. It’s a teen team book and it sounds like it’s right up McKeever’s alley. He’s bringing in Firestar of the New Warriors, a character he recently wrote to good effect in a one-shot, Araña, Gravity, and a few new characters.

I hate to pigeon-hole the man, but it seems like teen heroes are his thing. He’s good at them, and I like reading about them under his pen. Teen Titans should have been a match made in heaven, with Marvel’s premiere teen writer paired with the only teen team that was still viable in comics at that time, but something got screwed up somewhere and the stories we got were nowhere near what McKeever is capable of. I don’t know why, though my best guess considering other high profile disappointments at DC would be “editorial handcuffs.” Who knows, though. It’ll make a good tell-all interview one day.

But, he’s back at Marvel, and he came out swinging for the fences. I think I’ve liked all of the Marvel work he’s done since he came back. He’s even done a little fill-in on Web of Spider-Man with Stephanie Buscema that I dug. I’m happy that this guy who was there with some interesting ideas back when I was getting back into comics is back to pumping out good stuff years later. Young Allies sounds dope, and I’m honestly hoping that Marvel gives Heinberg a miss and hands over the Young Avengers. McKeever would kill with those characters.

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Brown skin ladies, how you doin’?

June 13th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Newsarama has DC’s advance solicits for September up, and there’s a couple of interesting bits.

THE WEB #1
Written by Angela Robinson; co-feature written by John Rozum
Art by Roger Robinson & Hilary Barta;co-feature art by Tom Derenick & Bill Sienkiewicz
Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Variant sketch cover by JG Jones
Spinning out of August’s “Red Circle” event from superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski comes the new ongoing adventures of the selfish rich-boy hero the Web, and the mysterious-undying Hangman. Writer/director Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.) and artist Roger Robinson (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS) spin the tales of The Web, a man who has only recently come to understand the burden of true heroism. He’s fighting crime on his own terms, and for his first mission he’s hunting down the men responsible for killing his brother!

TEEN TITANS #75
Written by Felicia D. Henderson; co-feature written by Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar & Júlio Ferreira
Cover by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
Variant cover by Andy Clarke
Come celebrate our gala 75th issue with an all-star cast of Titans past and present! Joining this issue for the extravaganza is new ongoing writer Felicia D. Henderson, a co-executive producer on TV’s hit show Fringe! Don’t miss this start to a fresh new take on DC’s premier teen team!

No, the interesting bit is not the annoyingly vague sell copy. “Our hero has a mission! Our team has a fresh new take, which is unlike the other new takes we’ve had over the past four years! Fringe! Comics!”

Felicia D Henderson and Angela Robinson are both black women. Felicia Henderson, in particular, gets a whole gang of goodwill from me just because she wrote for Fresh Prince, Family Matters, and, to a lesser extent, Moesha.

My question is– is this the first time Marvel or DC have employed two black female writers? Is it the first time they’ve employed one? Comics historians, do your duty.

(The rest of the solicits are snoozles.)

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