Weekly Awards For The Comic Books From November 26, 2008

All right, let’s go ahead and dish out The Revolution’s weekly awards.

The nominees for the Che for the best read of the week:

Batman #681
Captain America #44
Daredevil #113
Guardians of the Galaxy #7
Incredible Hercules #123
Nova #19
Superman #682
X-Force #9

The Winner: Incredible Hercules #123

I have already reviewed Batman #681 and Superman #682. I enjoyed both titles and thought they were good reads. However, neither title was quite good enough to win the Che for the best read of the week.

The rest of the issues are all great reads and they all pretty much are just as good as the next one. It was tough for me to pick just one of these remaining issues to win the Che. To be sure, any of the following issues are worthy of the Che, however there can be only one.

Daredevil #113
Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Pencils: Michael Lark
Inks: Stefano Gaudiano

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Brubaker continues to consistently crank out quality reads on Daredevil each month. And this issue was no exception. In this issue we see Matt meeting with Master Izo, Carlos LaMuerto and Danny Rand at Matt’s home. All of them have been recently attacked by the Hand. Master Izo continually irritates Matt because Master Izo acts as if Matt knows him. Danny states that the Book of Iron Fist talks about a Master Izo from a couple hundred years ago. The heroes decide to break up into teams and investigate what the Hand is up to.

We see Matt investigating a murder scene of the witness who claims Daredevil killed some thugs from the last issue. The police tell Dakota that they are going to be coming for Matt unless she can provide a solid alibi. Daredevil leaves the crime scene and is then attacked by Lady Bullseye. Daredevil notes how Lady Bullseye has no adrenaline rush and her heart beat is deadly steady. Daredevil says that fighting is like yoga for Lady Bullseye.

During the brawl, Daredevil notes that Lady Bullseye does not hit as hard as Bullseye, but she is faster. Lady Bullseye tells Daredevil that she is here to tell him that nothing in his life will remain free from the Hand. That no one Daredevil cares about will be untouched.

Suddenly, five Hand ninjas arrive on the scene and help Lady Bullseye attack Daredevil. Then another figure arrives on the scene. It is Master Izo. The small, old and blind man quickly kills all five Hand ninjas. Lady Bullseye takes this opportunity to make a quick escape.

Daredevil tells Master Izo what Lady Bullseye told him. Master Izo says that it is a trap and for Matt to not fall for it. Matt says that he does not care and is going to go make sure his friends and loved ones are safe.

Matt makes sure that Danny and Luke watch over Foggy and Becky. Matt then has Dakota drive him out to the sanitarium where Milla is located. Once they arrive at the sanitarium, Matt is informed by the nurse that Milla was checked out by her parents a day ago.

We then see Mater Izo and Carlos sneaking into the Hand base in New York where Lady Bullseye had been meeting with her master. They see the pictures of themselves and other heroes on a wall. Wolverine’s picture has a red “X” through it. Carlos then recognizes the picture of the White Tiger.

We cut to White Tiger arriving back at her apartment. She is surprised by Lady Bullseye and several Hand ninjas. Lady Bullseye immediately guts White Tiger with a sword and kills White Tiger. End of issue.

Brubaker continues to deliver excellent dialogue and character work. Daredevil #113 is such a technically sound issue. The narration and dialogue is wonderfully crafted. The imagery and descriptions that Brubaker employs allows the reader to experience the story as if we were standing right in the middle of it.

The character work is fantastic. All of the various characters are well developed and have their own unique personalities. Brubaker generates some fantastic chemistry between the various characters. I love the roster of characters that Brubaker has assembled for this story arc. I am glad to see Carlos La Muerto getting some panel time.

Of all the characters, Master Izo is the one that steals the show in this issue. Izo is such an entertaining character and he gets the majority of the good lines. I like the way that Master Izo manages to irritate the hell out of both Matt and Carlos.

Brubaker gives the reader several plot twists in this issue. The main one concerns Milla being taken out of the sanitarium by her parents. The other one concerns the mystery surrounding Master Izo and his relationship with Matt and the Hand. Both of them were interesting and I am looking forward to seeing where Brubaker goes with these plotlines.

Brubaker manages to give the reader enough action to keep this issue a lively read. Brubaker rarely moves a story along at a brisk pace, so making sure each issue has a little action is important. Brubaker ends Daredevil #113 with a quality hook ending. White Tiger’s death certainly serves notice to Daredevil that the Hand is serious on carrying out Lady Bullseye’s threat.

The only downside to Daredevil #113 is Lady Bullseye. Brubaker has failed to sell me on this character as I still view her as a rather unoriginal and lame villainess. But, other than that, I am enjoying this story arc quite a bit. It is nice to see how Brubaker is bringing the Hand back into Matt’s life.

Captain America #44
Creative Team
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Pencils: Luke Ross
Inks: Fabio Laguna and Rick Magyar

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

This issue began with a flashback scene to 1968 in Beijing. The Winter Soldier was sent there by the Russians to kill Professor Zhang Chi. We shift back to the present where we learn that Black Widow’s contact in the U.N. is getting transferred to Madripoor as punishment for letting Captain America and her into facility that was attacked by Batroc. He says that the U.N. is covering up something and that there is something in the database that Batroc stole that the U.N. does not want Captain America to discover.

Black Widow tells Bucky that nobody knows that he is Captain America. That Fury scrubbed the SHIELD computers of anything about the Winter Soldier and that Tony Stark covered up everything else. Black Widow and Captain America then split up. Black Widow goes to follow the intel. Captain America goes to track down the mercenaries that Batroc hired.

We see Bucky using his Winter Soldier persona and contacts in the weapons black market to track down who has been working for Batroc. In one of the black market warehouses, one of the dealers recognizes Bucky as the Winter Soldier and tells him about a guy named Griffin who was working for Batroc and had ordered a bunch of weapons.

We then cut to Batroc having captured a U.N. scientist and telling the scientists that they will kill him if he does not help them crack the copy of the database that Batroc stole. Batroc then contacts his employer and informs him that Batroc left a clear trail for Captain America to follow.

We cut to Bucky arriving at Griffin’s apartment. There Bucky finds a map and plans for Batroc’s next hit. We shift to the next day with Captain America heading toward the U.N.’s armored vehicle that is moving whatever they want to keep hidden from Captain America. Batroc and Captain America arrive at the armored vehicle at the same time. The two men brawl on the roof of the armored vehicle.

During the brawl, Captain America realizes that Batroc lead him here. Suddenly, a shadowy man in a trench coat and wearing a hat appears on the scene and attacks Captain America and throws him off of the roof of the armored vehicle. The armored vehicle then crashes. The man in the hat and trench coat stands in front of Captain America. Cap asks the man who he is. The man replies that Captain America does not remember him.

We cut back to Beijing in 1968. We see the Winter Soldier appearing before Professor Zhang Chi. The Professor comments that he knows the Winter Soldier. That the Winter Soldier was Captain America’s friend and that he saved Chi back during World War II. The Winter Soldier is confused that the professor knows him. Chi states that he cannot believe that his savior from the war is now here to kill him. Suddenly, the shadowy man in the hat and trench coat appears and says that nobody is going to touch Professor Chi as long as he is here.

Captain America #44 was another good read. Brubaker is doing a fine job with this current story arc. This issue moves along at Brubaker’s typical slow burn style of pacing. However, there is enough action to keep the issue from being too slow.

Captain America #44 is strongly plotted as Brubaker never loses his focus or direction. Brubaker is a master at weaving complex plotlines together in order to make for a riveting story arc. We get several neat plot twists in this issue. We learn that the U.N. is actively trying to hide something from Captain America. This plotline has certainly piqued my interest.

I liked the flashback scene as Brubaker is able to play with the many sides of Bucky’s character. The 1940’s flashback gave the reader a good sense of the young heroic Bucky who idolized Captain America. This 1968 flashback paints a much starker picture of Bucky as the Winter Soldier stripped of all his memories and nothing more than a weapon to be used to silence the Soviet Union’s enemies.

The other big development is the sudden appearance of the mysterious man in the hat and trench coat. This mystery is only further deepened by the fact that Bucky faced this same mysterious man back in 1968. The fact that this mysterious man in the hat and trench coat is connected to Professor Chi back in 1968 makes the reader believe that Professor Chi must be connected to the man who hired Batroc. I am incredibly curious to see how Brubaker begins to pull these different plotlines together.

X-Force #9
Creative Team
Writers: Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost
Artist: Mike Choi

Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

X-Force #9 was a surprisingly good read. I had given up on this title during the initial story arc. I found that the muddy artwork made this a hard title to read. The initial story arc felt flat and was unexciting and the roster for this team had too many duplicative characters. However, it appears that Kyle and Yost have found their legs on this title and are now cranking out a rather entertaining read.

This issue gives us plenty of brawling as X-Force locks horns with a bunch of Mr. Sinister’s clones of the Marauders. The fight takes place at Mr. Sinister’s lab which is the location where Vanisher dropped the vial of the new mutated strain of the Legacy virus.

We also deal with Warpath fighting a giant bear demon and getting his ass kicked by it. Evidently, the bear demon can touch Warpath but Warpath cannot touch it. Ghost Rider cruises by and sees Warpath in trouble and saves him from the bear demon. Ghost Rider then tells Warpath that he will help teach him how to fight demons.

X-Force ends up pasting the Marauder clones and Domino ends up grabbing the vial of the Legacy virus. Of course, just as it looks like our heroes have succeed in their mission, a bunch of armored villains brimming with weapons show up with the orders to get the virus and leave no one alive.

X-Force #9 is a great action adventure title. If you like a fast paced story with plenty of ultra-violence and brawling then you will definitely enjoy this title. The ride is so much fun that you don’t really care how you got here or where you are going. This is not a title that is trying to re-invent the medium. Kyle and Yost are simply trying to deliver a tightly written action themed story that offers up some enjoyable entertainment.

I liked the plotline involving Warpath and Ghost Rider. Warpath is my favorite member of X-Force and I have always been a big Ghost Rider fan. So, the odds are good that I will enjoy this bear demon plotline.

The dialogue in this issue is solid. It is nothing spectacular, but it gets the job done. The best writing in this issue is found in Domino’s narration. Kyle and Yost do an excellent job using Domino’s narration as the spine of this issue. X-Force #9 is also a great jumping on point for new readers since Domino’s narration effectively introduces each member of X-Force in order to give new readers a sense of the personalities of each member of the team.

I like the roster a bit more with Archangel and Domino added into the mix. However, I still find the roster to be too heavy with too many characters sporting similar personalities. I do not like the fact that everyone is wearing the same outfit. It gives the issue a bit of a dull look.

The character work continues to be thin. While Domino is nicely developed in this issue, the rest of the characters are rather flat and lack any depth. X-Force is certainly not a title that you would read for quality character work. The story itself is also not terribly deep so readers who prefer a more dense story might feel a bit unsatisfied with this issue.

What I loved the most about X-Force #9 was Mike Choi’s artwork. It is flat out gorgeous. And Choi draws the most bad-assed looking Ghost Rider I have ever seen. Choi’s artwork alone is good enough to give this issue a try.

Nova #19
Creative Team
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Pencils: Wellington Alvez and Geraldo Borges
Inks: Scott Hanna and Nelson Pereira

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

This issue begins with the Serpent Society seizing a compound in Ohio and taking hostages there and refusing to come out due to their fear of Skrulls due to the Skrull invasion. We see Nova and the new Nova Corps Centurions racing onto the scene. The Nova Corps members take out the Serpent Society members in 1.86 seconds.

The new Nova Corps members include a Shi’ar named Malik Tarcel. The Rigellian named Irani Rale. A manufacture Harmonite named Qubit. Fraktur who is from Kakaranthara who has not yet grown into her full mature biomass. Fraktur is looking for one of her cousins who emigrated to Earth a long time ago. His name is Fin Fang Foom. Then there is Morrow who is a Mephistoid.

We cut to Project PEGASUS where Nova’s brother, Robbie, is bemoaning to Darkhawk about how Rich is the favorite of the two sons and how Robbie is a bit jealous of Rich and the attention he gets as Nova. Just then the Nova Corps arrive back at Project PEGASUS.

Rich then talks to Worldmind and asks why Worldmind never told him that he was contacting new Nova Corps recruits. Rich says that as the Nova-Prime that Worldmind should have talked to him about it first. Worldmind answers that Rich is the greatest Nova Corps Centurion ever, but that Rich has one flaw: a lack of obedience. That Rich has continually endangered the Worldmind countless times.

Worldmind says that when they were trapped by Galactus that it went ahead and began to contact new recruits for the Nova Corps. Rich asks Worldmind not to get anymore recruits until the two of them have had a chance to talk about it properly.

Rich asks if they are going to re-install Worldmind in his head. Worldmind answers “No.” Rich is disappointed and says that he misses having Worldmind in his head. Worldmind answers that carrying Worldmind and the full Nova force would have eventually driven Rich inane. Worldmind says that for now he has found a proper home here at Project PEGASUS.

Robbie then interrupts Worldmind and Rich and tells Rich that a creature named Taboo is attacking New York. The Nova Corps arrive on the scene and employ excellent teamwork to take down the creature.

We then cut to the Nova Corps arriving back at Project PEGASUS. Darkhawk greets them and tells Rich that he has nothing to do with what is going on inside the base. Rich enters the base and sees hundreds of new Nova Corps recruits in the facility. Rich yells out for Worldmind asking just what has he done.

We then see Robbie standing there in a Nova Corps Centurion outfit. Robbie smiles and tells Rich to look what he got.
Nova #19 was a nice issue. DnA continue to impress me with their work on this title. This issue is fast paced and certainly delivers plenty of action. The dialogue is well done throughout this issue. DnA deliver some nice humorous dialogue in particular in the scene with Robbie and Darkhawk.

Nova #19 was well plotted as DnA took the first part of this issue to properly introduce each of the five new Nova Corps members to the reader. DnA manage to do it in a page per character and in a succinct fashion that gave the reader just enough taste for the personality of each new Nova Corps member. And this introduction to these new characters was done in a fashion that never broke the flow of the story at all. It seamlessly fit into the fight scene during the beginning of this issue.

All of the five new Nova Centurions were interesting characters and they all had distinct personalities that were easy to identify in the first scene of this issue. I appreciated the little touch of having Fraktur the same type of species as Fin Fang Foom and that the two of them are related.

DnA continue to do a fine job handling the relationship between Rich and Worldmind. These two have had incredible chemistry since the first issue. I liked that despite the constant complaining that Rich has done concerning Worldmind being in his head, that now he misses not having Worldmind there.

The typical tension and jealousy that can exist between brothers was well handled in this issue. It was not too overly dramatic. It was just enough for the reader to realize that Robbie does love his brother, but that clearly he is jealous of his older brother’s success and fame as Nova.

And that is what makes the stunning hook ending to Nova #19 all that much enjoyable. I cannot believe that we saw Robbie in a Nova uniform. I never thought that would happen. It should be interesting to see how Rich reacts to this situation.

I like the use of Project PEGASUS as the new home for Worldmind. It is a logical choice and it gives the fledgling Nova Corps a place to call home. I love the fact that DnA is once again rebuilding the Nova Corps. It was great to see so many Nova Corps Centurions at the end of this issue.

Guardians of the Galaxy #7
Creative Team
Writers: Abnett and Andy Lanning
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Inks: Rick Magyar

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

This issue begins with a scene from far in the future with the original Guardians of the Galaxy brawling with an alien race called the Badoon. The Badoon’s Zom brigades, which are the animated corpses of the Badoon’s enemies, are attacking the Guardians. Starhawk states that it is a hopeless battle and that the Badoon’s will win. That the Guardians will run out of time. We then see Martinex and Vance Astro dying. Starhawk yells that it is happening again.

We cut to Knowhere and see Starkhawk telling Cosmo about their future. Starhawk narrates that the future is doomed due to some error which has occurred in this present time period. That the error is occurring right now and here. That each time Starkhawk travels to the past in attempt to correct the error Starhawk ends up failing and the future’s reality shifts. That is why Starhawk changed from male to female.

Cosmo scans Starhawk’s mind and notes that there are no memories at all in Starhawk’s mind. Starhawk pleads for Cosmo to let him go so he can talk to the current Guardians of the Galaxy.

We cut to Rocket Raccoon leading Bug, Root, Mantis and Major Victory into battle against some cyborg soldiers who were attacking a colony. Major Victory recognizes the cyborgs as Zom brigades. Major Victory says that this means that the Badoon are orchestrating the attack from somewhere close. Our heroes continue brawling and then fight their way toward a massive Badoon factory of death that is attacking the colony and cranking out the Zom brigades.

We cut to Adam Warlock and Gamora together. Warlock decided to investigate the Universal Church of Truth and find out what they are up to. Warlock thinks that the Church might be more deeply involved in the fissure crisis than he originally believed. Gamora agreed to come along to help Adam in his mission. Gamora tells Adam that he cannot fight the entire Church. Adam replies that he does not want to fight them, that he wants to lead them.

We then cut to Drax and Quasar on some planet searching for Cammi. Unfortunately, they keep coming across dead end leads. Drax and Quasar pass by a mystic who asks if they are searching for information about the war between the Kings? The error in the past that dooms the future?

Drax answers no that they are searching for a girl. The mystic then says that she can help them and that the girl is lost and that it will be a painful quest to find the girl. Drax asks if the mystic can tell them where Cammi is located. The mystic replies that she was talking about a girl named Heather.

We cut back to the Guardians at the colony brawling with the Zom brigade. They come across an incredibly large Badoon “Monster” that is a huge cyborg creature. We then zip to Starlord in energy bonds and wondering where he is. Starlord looks around and sees that he is in the Negative Zone and has been captured by Blastaar.

Guardians of the Galaxy #7 was another exciting read. DnA continue to make this title a blast each and every month. This is another fast paced issue that treats the reader to plenty of action. However, don’t think that this is a thin read. DnA delivers an issue that has plenty of good dialogue and is full of quality character work. Each of the Guardians are well developed characters and DnA manages to create plenty of nice chemistry between the various characters.

I love the characters on this title. I was glad to see Mantis taking a more active role on the team. I also liked that Groot finally got to see some action with the team as well. And I was incredibly excited to see the return of Bug in this issue. I am a huge fan of the Micronauts, so Bug’s addition to the roster is a big plus for me.

DnA continue to juggle plenty of plotlines on this title. I have been impressed with the plotting on this title as DnA has short range, medium range and long range plotlines running at the same time. This issue moves with a purpose as DnA deliver several startling plot developments. We learn that Heather, Moondragon, is still alive. That was a real stunner. I am excited to see where DnA goes with this plotline. DnA also reveal the shocker that Adam Warlock intends on leading the Church of Universal Truth.

The main plotline involving the error in our present time that is causing the problems in the future finally takes center stage in this issue. DnA give the reader more information about this plotline and how the future as been impacted. I am intrigued by this plotline and think that it has the potential to be an exciting story.

Guardians of the Galaxy #7 ended with a good hook ending as we see that Starlord is in the Negative Zone and at the mercy of Blastaar. I am interested in seeing how Starlord managed to get himself into this mess.

All of the above issues were fine reads, but I had to go ahead and give the Che for the best read of the week to Incredible Hercules #123.

Incredible Hercules #123
Creative Team
Writer: Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente
Pencils: Clayton Henry
Inks: Salva Espin

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

This issue begins with Namor, Namora and Hercules freeing Poseidon from his Amazonian captor. We learn that Poseidon was forced to sign his seal to a testament of some kind pertaining to The Olympus Group. Poseidon also a tablet that points the way to the Omphalos. The Omphalos was what the ancient Atlanteans used to store a fraction of the power of the Axis Mundi in order to make Atlantis the center of the world.

The energies proved to be too powerful and caused Atlantis to sink. The wizards of Atlantis used their power to transform the Atlanteans into water-breathers. The Amazons want to get the Omphalos because whoever controls it will control the Axis Mundi.

We cut to Artume’s submarine where the Amazons are headed to the location of the tablet in order to then find the Omphalos. Delphyne sneaks off to see Cho who is in the brig. There Delphyne and Cho surprisingly give into their romantic desires for each other and have sex.

We slide back to Hercules who has his eyesight restored by Poseidon. Hercules calls Athena for help in order to find the location of the Omphalos. Athena tells Hercules that they would never catch up to the Amazons in time to stop them. Therefore, Athena tells Hercules the location of the Axis Mundi so they can get there before the Amazons do and stop the Amazons from placing the Omphalos there. The new location of the Axis Mundi is Washington, DC. Hercules and Namora then head off for DC.

We cut back to Artume and Delphyne getting ready to exit the sub and go retrieve the Omphalos. They pass by Cho’s cell on the way. Artume mentions how Cho needs junk food to replenish his brainpower. And that with Cho becoming dumber that he is of little use to her. Delphyne coughs the word “vault” and makes a small gesture to the vault door across the hall.

The two Amazons exit the sub and do battle with a giant squid starfish monster that is guarding the Omphalos. Delphyne gallantly fights her way past the monster and grabs the Omphalos and brings it back toward Artume. Suddenly, Artume shoots Delphyne with a spear gun and kills Delphyne.

We see Artume enter the sub with the Omphalos with her. Artume walks past Cho’s cell and comments how Delphyne was a traitor and that Artume knew that Delphyne had slept with Cho. However, what really ticked off Artume was the mincing way that Delphyne waved to Cho as they left. Artume then tells Cho to enjoy his last few hours alive.

Cho then puts together that Delphyne was hinting to him about the vault door and pointing at some chocolate bars that she had placed there. We cut to the Manhattan offices of The Olympus Group where Hera and Pluto reveal that Poseidon has signed over all his shares in the company to Pluto. Hera states that she and Pluto had already inherited Zeus’ share of the stock in the company. Therefore, Hera and Pluto state that they own 95% of the stock of the company. Apollo, Artemis and Hephaestus are stunned.

Hera then states that she is now proclaiming a new Olympus for true Olympians. Hera states that from this day forth their main corporate purpose will be the deaths of the half-breeds Athena and Hercules.

Pak and Van Lente deliver yet another entertaining installment of Incredible Hercules. This title is an absolute joy to read. No, Pak and Van Lente are not trying to chance the very fabric of the Marvel Universe. And no this story is not a mega event with tie-ins with other titles. Instead, Pak and Van Lente are simply concentrating on their own little corner of the Marvel universe and are doing so in fine fashion.

Pak and Van Lente succeed in delivering a technically sound and well crafted read. The story moves along at a nice pace. There is never a slow moment in this issue. Hercules #123 has action, adventure, drama, romance, humor and intrigue. But, most of all, this title is fun. And that is an important ingredient that is missing from many titles currently on the market.

The dialogue is well written as each character has their own unique voice. The character work is well done as all the characters are nicely developed. The chemistry between the various characters is excellent. The strong character work is evident in how in just a couple of issues Pak and Van Lente manages to flesh out Delphyne’s character and get me genuinely invested in her character in such a short amount of time. Her death had quite an impact on me.

Pak and Van Lente are juggling several interesting plotlines in an effortless fashion. The immediate plotline involving the Amazons and the Omphalos has my full attention. Yet, the longer-term plotline involving Hera and Pluto taking over The Olympus Group certainly piques my interest. I cannot wait to see what surprises Pak and Van Lente have in store for us with the next issue.

And now the nominees for the Sequential Methadone Award for the worst read of the week:

Teen Titans #65

The Winner: Teen Titans #65

Teen Titans #65
Creative Team
Writer: Sean McKeever
Pencils: Eddy Barrows
Inks: Ruy Jose

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10

Teen Titans #65 was another summarily unimpressive read. If it weren’t for Eddy Barrows and Ruy Jose’s enjoyable artwork then this issue would have been practically unreadable. Just when I think that this title cannot get any dumber it does. Teen Titans #65 was the supposed “dramatic” conclusion to the story arc involving Wonder Girl and Lycus. Instead, it was a rushed and anti-climactic ending to a rather shallow story arc.

In this issue Wonder Girl battled Lycus inside of her house while the rest of the Titans (Robin, Red Devil, Blue Beetle and Bombshell) deal with Lycus’ hellhound who is guarding the outside of the house. During Lycus’ battle with Wonder Girl, Lycus absorbs the remaining amount of Wonder Girl’s power that was given to her by Ares. At that point, Wonder Girl realizes what Zeus told her about having to rely on her own power. Once Ares’ power was completely sucked away from Cassie, her own power returned and along with it a new costume.

Cassie then proceeds to beat up on Lycus, ties her golden lasso around him and then simply wishes that Lycus go away and he disappears in a puff of smoke. During the fight between Lycus and Cassie, the other Teen Titans pretty much get slapped around by the giant hellhound until Red Devil charges up Bombshell who then enters into the hellhound and blows him up from the inside.

The ending of this issue has Cassie her mother having a “sweet” bonding moment on a train as Cassie decides to live at the Titans Tower full-time. Zeus, disguised as an old man, sits near Cassie and her mom and smiles happily.

Teen Titans #65 was a thin issue that lacked much depth or complexity.  This issue was full of dialogue that was average at best and cheesy at worst. Some of the lines like Blue Beetle shouting out that they have to avenge Marvin and Wendy somehow by defeating the hellhound were just awful. The characters are flat and one-dimensional and the only personalities displayed are because Blue Beetle, Red Devil and Bombshell are written more as caricatures rather than actual fully formed characters. Cassie and Robin’s personalities are as neutral as possible.

McKeever’s defense of the idiotic and base display of unnecessary gore and violence in the mauling of Marvin and Wendy was that it would serve to lay the foundation for something very important later. McKeever insisted that it was done to really establish Lycus as a villain. Really? The unnecessary and random gore and death of Marvin was purposeless when it happened and has proven to still be purposeless at the conclusion of this story arc. It did nothing to further a single plotline or character at all. All it gave us was the basis for a small throwaway line from Blue Beetle in this issue.

Lycus and his hellhound were incredibly boring, generic and one-dimensional villains. At no point did I even remotely care about either villain. And at no point was I interested in the least bit by them or the story surrounding them. These villains seemed like textbook characters ripped from a Comic Book Writing 101 class.

And the ending to Cassie and Lycus’ brawl was so lame. All Cassie had to do was get her lasso around Lycus and simply wish him away. Wow. What a massively anti-climactic ending. It was way too fast and convenient and smacked of a writer who had written himself into a box and had no way to properly resolve this story arc.

So congrats to Incredible Hercules #123 for winning The Che Award of the week and “congrats” to Teen Titans #65 for winning the Sequential Methadone Award for the week.

2 Comments

  1. Y’know, I just can’t help it – I can’t get into Master Izo because I keep thinking, ‘Don’t we already have an old blind man who’s a super-ninja running around in DD’s supporting cast?’

    Why would you create a carbon copy of a character in the same title’s universe? What’s next? A new fat crimelord with a sick wife?

  2. I totally agree with you on the Incredicle Herc. Greg Pak has done an amazing job of putting Herc not only into beautiful main character spot but into a story that brings together the past and the present to form a fun and exciting arch.

    ~Steve
    steve-swv.spaces.live.com

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