Sunday, July 10, 2011

Titans Annual #1 & Secret Six #35

Okay, so the two DC comics I reviewed yesterday turned out to be slightly better than I expected. Granted, I had low expectations going in, but still. Today I'll be looking at two series that routinely score around a 4 or a 5, in other words, I usually don't like them... So once again, the bar is set pretty low...

Titans Annual 2011 #1:

Summary: This issue begins with Osiris obliterating the army of Qurac, which had been waging war on Kahndaq. With the forces of Qurac dealt with, Osiris declares that he was now the sole ruler of Kahndaq, much to Isis's dismay. Meanwhile, Deathstroke manages to scare the Worst Justice League Ever away from his jet by revealing that he had a nuclear device hidden inside it. Not only that, but he also had a lead box on the plane, which causes the League concern since whatever was in the box had to be worse than the nuke. Having gotten a few hours before the League would confront him again, Deathstroke takes the Titans to Kahndaq to speak with former Titan, Osiris. From there we head to Deathstroke's base, where the Tattooed Man meets Dr. Impossible and... Ugh... Dr. Sivana. Impossible tells TM that Deathstroke knew he'd return, before handing TM a teleportation device that would bring him to Deathstroke. Upon arriving in Kahndaq, Deathstroke is attacked by Osiris, who was angry that Deathstroke hadn't been able to resurrect Black Adam as promised. Deathstroke manages to convince Osiris that he was still working on bringing Black Adam back, telling Osiris that he was only one step away, but that he needed Osiris's assistance in holding off the League when they inevitably attacked again. Osiris agrees to help Deathstroke against the League, provided Deathstroke agreed to head Kahndaq's armed forces. After Deathstroke agrees to those terms, the two shake hands just as the League descends on Kahndaq. The League wants to arrest Deathstroke, Osiris won't allow it, so the two factions tear into each other. The battle is leaning towards the League until the Tattooed Man teleports to Deathstroke, who immediately tells Tattooed Man to deal with the League's heaviest hitter, Supergirl. Since Tattooed Man's powers are based in magic, he manages to weaken Supergirl, at which time Deathstroke opens the lead box from earlier, pulling out a Kryptonite covered sword. Deathstroke attacks Supergirl from behind with the sword, slashing her a few times. Atom interrupts Deathstroke's fun, and the battle continues to rage on, destroying more and more of Kahndaq. Finally having had enough, Isis turns the weather and land against the League and the Titans, separating them and declaring the fight over. She dismisses the League from Kahndaq, telling them that if they returned it would be considered an act of war. Not keen on starting an international incident, the League collect their injured and head home. Isis then declares herself the leader of Kahndaq, telling Osiris that he was too reckless to lead the country. With that all taken care of, Deathstroke reveals that he got what he really wanted from the battle, Supergirl's blood. Deathstroke grabs a bloody piece of Supergirl's cape, and takes the team back to his base, where he hands the cape over to Sivana so he could finish whatever experiment Deathstroke had him working on. That Worthless Junkie questions why Deathstroke needed Supergirl's blood, and Deathstroke explains that it was needed to save the life of somebody near and dear to him, Jericho.

Thoughts: First things first, before I even begin talking about the story, dialogue, art or anything else here, there's something I feel the need to mention... During the League's battle with the Titans in Kahndaq, Jade ends up being drawn in the place of Cinder in one panel, making it look like Starman was battling Jade, his own teammate, while calling her Cinder... Now yes, that's a small thing, but still, it's pretty amateurish. I mean this isn't some little indy comic company, it's a DC comic! Doesn't anybody proofread the comics before they go to print? So yeah, in today's day and age, that's the kind of mistake you really don't expect to see in one of the Big Two's comic books. Looking past that at the story, I was left kind of flat here... This is another case of me just not really caring about the storyline since it's all going to be moot in two month's time. Will Black Adam come back? It doesn't matter. Will Deathstroke be able to save Jericho from whatever malady is affecting him? Once again, it doesn't matter... This wasn't a terrible comic or anything, it just dragged on too long, especially considering the fact that I could care less about the outcome.

Score: 6 out of 10.When in doubt, post a splash page!

Secret Six #35:

Summary: After having spent the past few issues in Hell(thanks to Ragdoll, who's been completely forgiven mind you), Bane decides that he's been living his life all wrong. Since he's destined to spend eternity in Hell anyway, even though he's lived what he'd consider a righteous life, Bane decides to do whatever he wants while on Earth, and I'll give ya three guesses as to what Bane wants... That's right, to destroy Batman's life. To this end, Bane decides to kill the people Batman cares the most about, since physically breaking Bats back in the day didn't stop him. Bane writes a list of four people Bats cared about, Red Robin, Batgirl, Robin and Huntress Commissioner Gordon(it was originally Huntress, but Catman balked at that idea), and tells the team that they'd break into pairs and kill/maim/break those four individuals while Bane kept Bats occupied. Since he needed one more person to round out his team, as well as information on the Bat-family, Bane and the Secret Six(actually Secret Eight, but who's counting?) attack the Penguin while he's aboard his private boat. After some coaxing, Bane manages to get Penguin to agree to join the Six(Nine) to take down Bats... Once and for all.

Thoughts: Well, I didn't hate this comic, which makes this issue way better than the past several. Yes Ragdoll is still hanging around, even though he should have been killed issues ago, and Knockout is back for some reason, but at least Bane's epiphany has given the team some direction. They're not sitting on the fence, half good and half bad, they're not being mercenaries, they're being villains, period. If Penguin hadn't been in this issue, I'd probably have scored it even higher. Penguin or not, this was probably the best issue of this series I've read in months, which makes perfect sense in light of the fact that it's being canned with the reboot...

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Good to know!


  1. Maybe I'll have to re-educate myself via Wiki but I thought Deathstroke lost his "good eye" in a battle recently? Someone stabbed him? I can't remember the mini that it was presented in. I remember the scene and the page it was one but for the life of me cannot remember the title. It'll come to be around 3am. Ok, probably not. As for "I'm a shark"? Really? A shark that talks/walks and tries to impersonate the customary stance of the Abomination or Juggernaut there are on the page? Really, DC? Sigh. Maybe I'm missing something somewhere. And this is one reason why I only eat sushi now. No shark.

  2. Ladies & Gents , with no further waiting, I'm proud to present you, the x-men villains with actual relevance & Slightly revamped!
    & it was a tough one, I'll eat my hat if this doesn't get comments!


  3. Nope, you're right, MonkeyBrains. Slade's good eye was literally plucked out of his head like two or three issues of Titans ago. That was explained away by Deathstroke having a healing factor, which led to his eye growing back. With that said though, I'm not quite sure why he never regrew his other eye... Ahh yes... The strange case of King Shark... A former mute Superboy villain who suddenly became the jester of the Secret Six. You gotta love DC and their selective continuity amnesia!

  4. Hey x, I have posted here a few times and now i am starting to have questions. I have been a fairly long-time comcis reader though i have a large gap of years that i discontiued for various reasons. So i would like to ask you something, well all of you that post here something. When, oh WHEN do you discontinue a series? I have found this sooooo so difficult in all of my years, even if I am hating it. I am getting alot better at it lately for example the silver surfer mini amongst others. It is just a thing that plagues comics readers because we LOVE the characters so much that we willing to stick it out through some of the utmost ridiculous and bizzare storylines. So I ask you.. Is this just as difficult for you? Is it usually that you love the characters too much? Or that sometimes you just go nuts not having a complete story (i do both of these way too often)
    -With that being said I am loving your reviews for the fear -itself tie-ins because I am only reading the spider-man one and havent jumped on much else. I think I have heard you mention that you aren't a big fan of chris yost? So i won't reccomend the book by any means. But I have enjoyed it quite a bit due to the fact that it is grounded. 100%. all of the citizens/non-super powered characters in the marvel universe are feeling the fear. From JJJ to spider-man himself. Issue 3 hits this week and i'm looking forward to it. However, this looks to be a big week for me at the comic shop..

  5. "When, oh WHEN do you discontinue a series?" Oh man, Cap, THAT is a good question... Personally, I have a REALLY tough time just dropping a series cold turkey. One thing I've learned about myself over the years is that I'm an obsessive collector. I mean, if I start something, especially a mini-series, I feel almost obligated to finish it. A perfect example would be Vengeance #1, which I just read the other day and posted a review of earlier. I picked it up on a whim and really didn't enjoy it. But, and I even mentioned this in the review, I'll still be picking up the second issue and knowing myself, I'll probably collect the entire mini. So yeah, for me, if I start something, it's REALLY hard for me to just drop it.

    Usually the only time I'll drop a series is if I feel offended/abused by a series/writer. The only series's I can really say that I dropped and stopped reading cold turkey were New X-Men(after the Yost/Kyle slaughter) and the Geoff Johns DC books(Green Lantern, Flash) because I was tired of him manipulating DC history to push his favorite characters. And in the case of New X-Men, I kept buying it because my sister was reading it! I mean I hated the Silver Surfer mini-series, but I stuck it out and collected the entire mini-series. My favorite character, Nate Grey, probably had one of the worst written series EVER, but I picked up and read every issue. So while I CAN drop a series if pushed far enough, it's even tougher for me to drop something that features a favorite character of mine. But like yourself, I tend to be really loyal to certain characters, which can lead to me making poor decisions when it comes to stopping a series! Man, that response was longer than I intended! Hopefully I kind of/sort of answered your question, Cap... Sometimes I just don't know when to shut up!

    "However, this looks to be a big week for me at the comic shop.." That's the best kind of week! :D