Since I am a self-proclaimed UberGeek (No, it’s not prestige thing. It’s just a term I came up with to explain that if it’s something geeky, chances are I have an interest in it. Compare to folks who are just Star Wars Geeks, Anime Geeks, Gamer Geeks, etc), I figured it would be worthwhile to talk about my love of comics now and then on the Land of Odd. So I’ve started a new ‘Comics’ category to talk about the latest issues, what I like and what I don’t like and whatever weird theories or rants I may want to talk about.
Recently, I’ve mostly been diving into the DC Comics’ New 52. Not that I won’t EVER talk about Marvel comics on here, but I don’t follow them nearly as close as I do DC. Maybe I’ll talk about why on here someday. (FYI, if you would like to contribute some Marvel comics write ups as a guest writer or something, feel free to contact me!)
Well this week brought new issues for two titles on my reading list. Let’s share, shall we?
So we finally got the second issue of Ravagers yesterday. I wish I could say that with more glee in my voice, but that would be unfair to you and downright lying for me. Based on a rumor that I heard that an old Teen Titans character, Raven, would possibly be appearing in the DC Comics’ New 52 around issue #5 of Ravagers, I decided I’d stick with it for a few months and see how it pans out. Two issues in and I’m already starting to doubt that decision.
The situation is admittedly interesting in that you have a bunch of teenagers that have been emotionally and physically abused in a giant death match to turn them into killers and are now on the run to save their lives. There is potential there. There’s some flashes of the Bourne series mixed with Battle Royale. Sadly, so far most of the comic plays out like this:
“We were trained to be killers so we do not trust anyone!”
“But we need to work together!”
“But we do not trust you. So we are going to seperate and go different directions and slowly get picked off by the bad guys before we can even establish our names.”
I mean the biggest potential in this comic is the characters and after two issues I only know half their names and that two of them are related. That’s it. Personality? Thrown aside for action sequences and shouting about not trusting each other. One character – Ridge – who is a former member of the actual Ravagers (who are bad guys hunting the main characters. Kind of a confusing title at the moment.) HAD a cockney accent but then seems to have lost it somewhere. Oh and Caitlin Fairchild is in it and she may or may not be a lesbian. The subtext with Rose is quite unclear on whether they were friends or lovers in the past.
Compare this with the New 52’s Teen Titans which I am LOVING. The characters were introduced pretty quickly over the first 5 or so issues, but they are written in a way that you pretty much get a grasp on their personalities in just a few pages. Here? Nothing. Zilch. Other than they don’t trust each other and they’re angry. That’s about it.
The villains are not much better. While Rose Wilson is relatively established along with Caitlin from their time in the Superboy series, the rest of the villains are names and flashy costumes. Their motivation? Their boss told them to. Their bosses motivation? No clue. Still a mystery after the Culling crossover.
The road to Ravagers #5 is going to a long and bumpy one. Pray for me.
Vry’s Rating: 2 exploding collars out of 5.
If Ravagers is a bunch of sound and noise signifying no character whatsoever, this month’s Superboy is pretty much its polar opposite.
Following the events of the Culling, the Teen Titans and Superboy ended up on Mystery Island. Yes, that is its actual name. It’s a giant island shaped like a question mark. It’s extremely ridiculous and I LOVE it. This issue however starts with Superboy and Cassie Sandsmark (Don’t call her Wondergirl) seperated from the rest of the team.
While there is a comedic little fight with a T-Rex (Yes, there are dinosaurs on Mystery Island), the majority of this issue is just Cassie and Kon-El talking and getting to know each other. It’s a nice quiet issue with a lot of character development that I’ve wanted since Superboy and Teen Titans started.
I want to say it’s mainly due to the big Culling crossover last month, but Teen Titans 1-8 felt really rushed, jumping from event to event to get the groundwork for the crossover laid out (And yes, STILL had better character development than Ravagers). Superboy on the other hand felt extremely padded and stretched out, possibly because it DIDN’T need 8 issues to set up for the crossover so it just had to kill time until issue 9.
This issue however was great. It had comedy, character, a bit of action, some nice art from Iban Coello which I prefer to RB Silva’s sometimes downright cartoonish faces or worse the blank faces with little lines or dots to indicate where the eyes and mouth are.
There’s even some romantic tension between the two since we have previously established that they do in fact find each other attractive, but well… I won’t spoil it for you but it gave me a chuckle. I’ll say this much: Wondergirl? Total tsundere.
Finally, there is a really nice touch in this issue. In the midst of the controversy about the over sexualized and downright spine breaking poses that characters like Catwoman have been put into in the New 52, it was REALLY nice to see a scene where Cassie is starting to undress to take a bath in a lake and it ISN’T ridiculously sexualized. She’s just standing there with her shirt slipped off and covering her torso. No chiropractor needed. No butt shots or perfectly positioned foliage to block naughty bits. I’d say it’s probably because she’s only seventeen, but I think DC and Marvel have both shown in the past that they have no problem ‘going there’ with not quite legal teens in the past. It was just a small note that I was expecting something ridiculous and got something quite tasteful. Kudos to DC for once.
Vry’s Rating: 4 unconscious dinos out of 5.