By Miles Baker and Owen K. Craig
Each week we use random.org’s random integer generator to create two random numbers. They then count down on the release list until they find out their RANDOM COMIC OF THE WEEK! No matter what the publisher, what the issue, what the arc, we will be there reviewing things with little or no context.
Teen Titans Year One #1 (of 6)
Written Marv Wolfman
Art by Karl Kerschl, Serge Lapointe, and Steph Peru
DC Comics, 2007
I thought this was a pretty good comic, but, man is there a lot to pick on in it. For starters, the goods — this is one cute comic. I’ve only seen a bit of Kerschl’s work before and I wasn’t a big fan, but this is great. His style is very expressive and very cute for this. Also, while his style is cartoon-y and exaggerated, like Humberto Ramos’ art, people look the age they are supposed, you can tell the Teen Titans from their mentors.
For seconds, the mediums — the story is pretty interesting. I’m guessing from the title that this mini series will tell the origins of the Teen Titans, and we get to see a bit of why they are going to form in this issue, but they don’t all get enough face time. The main plot is about Robin, which is a fine plot and I’m sure he’s the anchor of the series, but I’d like to see more with Aqualad and Wondergirl, who I know nothing about. That said, what I did get with both of them was wicked cute (when she meets her first boy she squeals and says, “iloveyou”), which is why I want more. Simply, I don’t think enough happened in this issue, but what was there was good.
For thirds, the nitpicks — what the hell time frame is this set in? Didn’t the Teen Titan’s form in the 80s, well before the time of instant messaging programs? I don’t understand why they called this “year one” if it’s supposed to be the story of the team forming. Why not call it “All-star Teen Titans” or something else that would tie it less directly to continuity. One of the great things about Batman: Year One was the timelessness of the setting, it could be set any time after the 30s. The latest this can be set is the mid 90s, and that just bugs me.
For forths, the super-awesomes — Batman’s keyboard has a bat symbol were the apple key is. He’s so fucking nuts.
Omega the Unknown #4 (of 10)
Written Jonathan Lethem
Art by Farel Dalrymple
Marvel Comics, 2007
Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it: I have no idea what happened in that book. I suppose that’s bound to happen when you’re choosing your books at random and jumping in at part 4 of a 10 issue story, but, man, that was confusing. Even more confusing was the lack of any credits page in this issue. I took the name of the writer and artist from the cover, so I know who they are. But if there was a page giving us a story title and the name of the editor, etc., I couldn’t find it.
What I understood of the story I liked. There’s some sort of superhero learning about life as a young teenager and watching a group of bullies torment a poor nerd. His attempts to understand their actions are heartbreaking. Also, a sequence in which the superhero (Omega?) wants to eat a bird and settles on killing, cooking, and eating a bald eagle was tragically hilarious.
Still, though, there’s a lot of stuff about a giant head and some guys in purple suits that didn’t make any sense coming into this story with issue 4. This seems to be Marvel’s indie-style cerebral book (the art even seems almost remeniscent of Dan Clowes), and I think it will well worth a look in trade paperback. But for now I remain confused.