DC Spinner Rack: #5 of Nightwing, GL, WW, LSH, and Tiny Titans #48

Nightwing #5

Nightwing #5 cover

written by Kyle Higgins
pencils by Eddy Barrows
inks by Paulo Siqueira & Eber Ferreira

A stand-alone issue set in New Orleans, as a spurned lover decides that a demon is the best way to bring her fiance back to her. Not a bad story (if a bit unconnected to Nightwing, specifically — it could have appeared in a half-dozen books — and possibly a bit stereotypical), nice sense of place, very atmospheric art — but what made me want to mention it was how tired I quickly became of hearing Nightwing talk to himself.

Nightwing in costume

Well, he’s actually talking to us, so we know what’s going on. That’s a good thing, since there’s plenty of “why would he feel the need to tell himself this thing that he already knows?” narration, and I don’t think we’re supposed to think the title character is insane. All this rattling on is a shame, because it feels clunky. I don’t want this much hand-holding and plot-patching.

Also a shame: the artist drew a t-shirt under the Nightwing costume when he starts unzipping it, as shown here. What, that sliver of man-chest would be too much for the readers?

My recommendation for this series: more circus life, since it sets Dick apart from all the other Bat-folk, less moody self-narration riding vehicles at night, because that’s generic and poorly done. This issue would have been stronger if that space had been used for more backstory for the tortured couple, to make them more than just plot points.

Green Lantern #5

Green Lantern #5 cover

written by Geoff Johns
pencils by Doug Mahnke
inks by Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne, Christian Alamy & Tom Nguyen

So much for that. The characterization, doing something new with the cast, that I so appreciated in this series when it relaunched is gone. Instead, we’re back to the same mythology, various groups working out grudges against each other. I no longer care who did want to whom, especially in comics I didn’t read that seem to predate the line’s relaunch.

Hal Jordan’s basically hanging around watching stuff, which makes him seem pointless, when he’s not playing voice of the author and telling us what we’re supposed to think about various cast members.

Cosmic comic books traditionally haven’t done very well, and I know the counter-argument is that readers want to follow good characters anywhere, but these aren’t very good characters. In their uniforms, many of them are interchangeable, and I’d rather see Hal back on earth coping with his life there. It looks like we’re setting up to get back to that in issue #6, or maybe #7, but I’m not all that involved any more, because all that comes to mind when I think of this title is disappointment.

Wonder Woman #5

Wonder Woman #5 cover

written by Brian Azzarello
art by Tony Akins

The art is not by Cliff Chiang this issue, and he’s why I read the book, so I didn’t pay a lot of attention to this issue. It’s various characters talking about and to gods. It also doesn’t have enough Wonder Woman in it. I don’t want to be reintroduced to the entire pantheon of gods — I already got enough of that in Hercules a couple of years ago. I’d like to see the title character do more.

Legion of Super-Heroes #5

Legion of Super-Heroes #5 cover

by Paul Levitz & Walter Simonson
inks by Dan Green & Sean Parsons

Wow, Walt Simonson drawing the Legion! That’s a great reason to check back in. It’s a different, edgy version of the characters, but the “day in the life” format is a neat way to learn these cast members again, since they’re not exactly the ones I knew. Yet they’re wonderfully expressive and active, thanks to Simonson’s work.

So many characters! But this is the first issue in a while that’s given me a sense of wonder about the 30th century. (Is that still when they are?) And it’s a pleasure to see them all doing so many different things (instead of the women standing around posing).

It strikes me as very weird that the main effect of the DC new 52 has been to swap me from buying superhero books because of story to buying them because of the art. It seems that EIC Bob Harras’s attempt to bring back the 90s, with creators best known from that time period, has sent me back to that mindset in a different way.

Here’s an interview with Walt about working on the book.

Tiny Titans #48 cover

Tiny Titans #48

by Art Baltazar & Franco

Ah, my favorite. This issue is all about secret identities, and later, secret oranges. (Which took me a while to get, duh.) A bunch of redhead girls are hanging out, then everyone gets into 70s gear. I have no idea why any of this happens, but it’s wonderfully entertaining and creatively silly.

It gets even weirder, later, when the secret oranges of the justice league — fruit with cute little cowls and tiaras and capes — battle the League of Just Us Cows. Then the Orange Lantern brings the Core … but I won’t spoil that joke. The panel made me laugh for a good minute, though. (Especially after contrasting it with reading Green Lantern, above.)

This book is the ice cream sundae dessert of the comic book week.

8 Responses to “DC Spinner Rack: #5 of Nightwing, GL, WW, LSH, and Tiny Titans #48”

  1. Dwight Williams Says:

    LSH has gone back to officially saying that it’s perpetually 1,000 years into the future of the editorial “here and now”, if memory serves.

  2. ShadZ Says:

    I got more out of this issue of Wonder Woman that you did. Even though the art wasn’t like Chang’s, I still liked it. (In a few places, it reminded me of the good parts of John Byrne). I liked that Poseidon was non-human. I did NOT like the new, snarky, British, “I know more about the situation than you do, but I will not share my information except in cryptic bursts” character — I already have John Constantine in JL Dark, I don’t need another.

  3. Johanna Says:

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I was reminded of — Hellblazer with a boxer’s face.

  4. caleb Says:

    Re: the Tiny Titans ’70s gags, I THINK it was commentary on the recent RETROACTIVE things DC did, but only commentary in so much as Baltazar and Franco thought of a line of gags that kinda sorta were inspired by them, and that’s usually reason enough for them to stick gags in. I like Gordon’s gear.

  5. Johanna Says:

    I know it’s futile to hope for, since the series is ending, but I wish there was an annotated Tiny Titans pointing this kind of stuff out. It’s so clever sometimes!

  6. David Oakes Says:

    I saw it more as a throwback to the costumeless “Relevant” era of the original Titans. As well as a nod to the history of the team in general.

  7. James Schee Says:

    I’m thinking about dropping the LSH book, this is 2 or 3 issues in a row with nothing happening. Along with the WW issue, its a trend I’m getting tired of. I don’t need wall to wall action, but at $3 for only 20 pages I expect more action in a superhero book than this.

    An aside I usually love Walt’s work, but it was up and down this issue. I liked the scenes he drew with Vi and Ayla (good to see them recognized as a couple again) and Sun Boy & Polar Boy as well. Yet the Cosmic Boy scene was unreadable to me. If the characters hadn’t called him by name I wouldn’t have even known it was him.

  8. New DC Super-Pets Books Feature Contest Winner and Art Baltazar » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] available. All are prose books recommended for ages 6-8 and include illustrations by Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans) with his charming sense of […]




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