- Posted by Johanna on December 30, 2006 at 11:09 am
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- PUBLISHER: DC Comics
A lot less than I expected to be. I’ve always been a DC kid — I grew up reading Superman and Wonder Woman, dollar comics and tabloid-sized specials. Now, the company’s really moved away from what I’m looking for.
I’m not engaging in some kind of boycott. I object strongly to a lot of the choices they’ve made from the perspectives of both craft and morality, but boycotting implies that I’d be reading the books otherwise. I wouldn’t be, because most of them leave me apathetic. I simply no longer care about their characters or universe. I especially don’t care about their nostalgic navel-gazing, trying to put all the characters “back”.
My favorite DC comics are those aimed at the kids, because they’re often a lot better done than the main line. They tell stories with endings. They’re enjoyable to read, and I rarely have to puzzle out what I’m supposed to be looking at or be distracted by impossible anatomy. They’re light-hearted, showing how powers can be enjoyable. (I know Marvel’s angst has always been popular, but it’s wearying to read EVERY superhero bemoaning how tough their lives are.) They have points beyond “let’s make comics more like what I read decades ago.”
Thus, it turns out that my favorite DC comic is Teen Titans Go!, especially when they tackle such fun characters as the Mad Mod, as happens in issue #38. And this issue has a special bonus: It’s drawn by one of my favorite artists, Chynna Clugston.
The issue homages A Hard Day’s Night, as the Titans are being chased by hordes of screaming fans. The Mad Mod is offering to make them into superstars, complete with magazine cover shoots and toylines. The more you know about the Beatles, the more you’ll giggle at this issue, including the press conference and a performance as a rock band.
J. Torres has come up with a great way to include the retro imagery that contributes so much to my enjoyment of the character, and Chynna’s costumes and art are terrific, as always. (I love Starfire’s pink and green frilly minidress with paisley stockings.) It’s fab and ginchy! And it even has a message: karaoke is evil. No, I think it’s really don’t get distracted by fickle fame and superficial adoration. Which leaves me with something to think about.
Also very cool is Krypto the Superdog #4. Catwoman’s cat Isis is plotting with Snooky Wookums, the adorable evil kitten, to steal some orange kryptonite, which will give them superpowers. That means Krypto has to team up with Ace the Bat-Hound to stop them, with help from the Dog Star Patrol (who are really the Space Canine Patrol Agents in my head).
Jesse Leon McCann (writing) and Min S. Ku (art) do a wonderful job getting the characters right in attitude and behavior. Ace’s stodgy uprightness subtly satirizes everything that’s wrong with Batman these days. Lots of action keeps things moving. In the second story, Luthor’s iguana screws around with a time machine, resulting in Kevin gaining temporary superspeed and a guest appearance by the Flash.
|Birds of Prey #101||Manhunter #26|
I don’t even know how Wonder Woman stands up like that, perched on her toes with her butt stuck out and a broken back.
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes is a tricky case for me… it’s not bad, but it doesn’t grip me, and there always seem to be too many characters and not enough plot to go around. Oh, I almost forgot the enjoyable All-Star Superman, but that’s running several months late.
I’ll keep reading Darwyn Cooke’s Spirit for being true to the concept and the roots of its appeal while doing his own thing with the characters. So far I’m most impressed by the way he managed to reinvent Ebony for the modern age.
Vertigo’s always been too focused on horror and violence for me, but I enjoy the DC CMX manga series Emma, Gals!, and Musashi #9. And I’ll be reading WildStorm’s Welcome to Tranquility because it reminds me of Eureka.
Looking back at DC this year, I realize I’ve become a Marvel reader. Who knew? I think it’s because they have a lot more superhero titles that don’t leave me feeling queasy after I read them.
I am looking forward to trying some books after upcoming creative team changes. Dwayne McDuffie and Dan Jurgens will be taking Firestorm with issue #33 in February, while March’s Wonder Woman #6 will finally have a female writer, novelist Jodi Picoult.