Zatanna 10-16

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #10
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Cliff Chiang

In this issue, Zatanna makes the incredibly naieve mistake of not thinking a talking Ventriloquist Doll was not a psychotic killer. I assume all ventriloquist dolls are psychopaths unless proven otherwise. Anyways, Oscar reverses the spell and now Zatanna is the doll. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Zatanna (Volume 2) #11zatanna_vol_2_11
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Jamal Igle

In this issue Zatanna has been stuck as a doll for a month and is saved by her – friend? – Mikey who I can’t remember who she is but I guess she is a member of Zatanna’s supporting cast. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the artwork. I love that there is a therapist just for magicians.

 

 

Zatanna (Volume 2) #12zatanna_vol_2_12
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Stephane Roux

Matthew Sturges takes over writing for this issue alone. I like how he emphasizes the magic of San Francisco and all of its magical secrets. In this issue, she fights a villain named backslash who is really just a trashy uneducated magical fool who thinks he can kill whoever he wants and that makes him kinda scary. I love how Zatanna uses Palindromes to fight him. That’s brilliant. Zatanna even meets a new fairy friend. This was a great one and done issue.

zatanna_vol_2_13Zatanna (Volume 2) #13
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Jamal Igle

In this issue a mystical cat appears to Zatanna and gives her a vision of a future encounter with the Spectre. Zatanna goes to see the Spectre to ask him about this in a rather amusing scene. Meanwhile, Brother Night escapes from prison. He sure is a terrible villain and I like how Dini has built him up in this series as Zatanna’s primary foe. Meanwhile, in the end we find out the detective is actually Brother Night’s son! I enjoyed this a lot. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

 

Zatanna (Volume 2) #14zatanna_vol_2_14
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Jamal Igle and Travis Moore

What is going on? What happened to the story arc Paul Dini started. Now Adam Beechen is guest writing the title and nothing from the previous issue is even mentioned. This was clearly filler. It was just about Zatanna fighting a succubus who takes over her cousin Zachary and it was well-written and everything but it was definitely filler and I was looking forward to the story arc with Brother Night.

 

Zatanna (Volume 2) #15zatanna_vol_2_15
Written by Derek Fridolfs
Art by Jamal Igle

Ok I am getting really pissed off. The storyline that Dini was building to was really great. This was another one and done issue from a different write that was only ok. What the hell? Did Dini quit? Why was this storyline just abandoned. Come on DC!

 

 

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #16
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Victor Ibanez

This is the final issue of this series and everything that Dini was building to I guess will never be resolved. Very disappointing and pathetic on DC’s part. Even though this was a well written story and it had great art I, and I am sure most regular readers of this series too, wanted to see Dini end his story. So sad.

Teen Titans 94 – 100

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #94
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Damn I love Nicola Scott’s art. This story is very refreshing. We haven’t seen much of the Hindu Gods in the DC Universe and it is fun to explore the Ramayana here. J.T. is really good at the characterization of each Titan and Nicola Scott’s art shows their moods and relationships to each other. This is great!

 

Teen Titans (Volume 3) #95Teen_Titans_Vol_3_95
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Nicola Scott really draws Superboy with some beefcake. I can’t say that I mind. The demons in this issue were creepy especially the one impersonating Ravager. This was another great issue of Teen Titans.

 

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #96
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Jose Luis

I missed Nicola Scott in this issue but Jose Luis did a good job as a subsitute. Solstice angering Raven is interesting and I wonder why. Looking forward to seeing the team beat Rankor.

 

 

 

Teen Titans (Volume 3) #97Teen_Titans_Vol_3_97
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Rankor is defeated mainly by Solstic who officially joins the Teen Titans at the end of this issue. Great to have Nicola Scott back for this fun adventure. I am sad there are only 3 more issues left of the Teen Titans before the New 52.

 

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #98
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Eduardo Pansica

Kid Flash’s virtual reality session showed in this issue that J.T. Krul had studies the history of these characters. Great use of continuity throughout this issue where Superboy-Prime has gathered together a team of villains with personal connections to the Titans. I don’t understand why Indigo is a member though. Although she was sometimes evil, she did end up dying a hero. I really liked her relationship with Shift back in those days. I wonder if they will explain what she is doing back.The ending was great to see the old Superboy costumes appear brought me back to the Young Justice days. Pansica’s art was great I almost thought it was Nicola Scott doing the drawing. Someone in the letter columns mentions that they think Cassandra Cain should be the new Nightwing! That is a cool idea.

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #99
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Jose Luis

The ending of this book almost seems like something that could fit in this month’s Rebirth. “Legacies last for ever.” The final splash page of Titans past was so exciting! I wonder who this new Inertia is. Indigo is not acting like herself at all. I wish that was being explained. I actually forgot Supergirl was a Titan in the past. She has been thrown in with so many teams since her debut. It is always good to see Miss Martian and Argent.

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #100
Written by J.T Krul
Art by Nicola Scott

Nicola Scott draws Argent with a completely different costume than Jose Luis did in the previous issue. Come on editors should catch that stuff. Otherwise this was a superb final issue for this volume of the Teen Titans. I loved every page of it. J.T. Krul should come back to these characters again someday. I am so glad that Rebirth will be restoring the Titans history but it remains to be seen if this part will be restored. It needs to be.

 

 

Powerful

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #6
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Jesus Saiz

Just how powerful is Zatanna anyways? In this issue she turns a man’s soul into an inanimate object? That is God-like Spectre powers there right? Anyways, good issue I liked it a lot. What happened to the regular artist though? Dini developed the relationship between Zachary Zatara and his cousin really well here too and I hope he stays a part of this book.

Lost At Sea

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #87
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Naifeh

 

Felecia D. Henderson ends her run on the book as the team defeats the Wyld and is left significantly smaller in the wake of Aquagirl and Bombshell being lost at sea (I liked them both and I am sad to see them gone from the team), Static left powerless and returning to Dakota, and Miss Martian in recovery. I was worried that Dc was going to kill them off so I am glad to see them all being given better reasons to leave the team then death. Miss Martian and Aquagirl both play a role in Brightest Day so we know they will be okay. As much flack as Henderson gets for her run, she vastly improved during her year on this book and you got to give her credit for that. I look forward to see what her Static ongoing will be like. The coven of three back-up ended with a team actually forming, but the three of them secretly very angry with each other or being liars. At least that wasn’t what I was expecting. I hope to see more about this coven in the future.

Mystic Roofie

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #5
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Chad Hardin

 

How does Dini keep telling compelling stories about Zatanna? A character so powerful I don’t know how anyone tells stories about her but Dini tells great ones. In this issue Zatanna is given a love potion so that the Las Vegas club owner guy can sell her soul to the devil – I like how Zatanna refers to it as a “Mystic Roofie” haha. The best parts of this issue are the moments between Zachary and Zatanna as they discuss their history and how very often Zach has been hurt by his older cousin who never comes to his shows. Great relationship development between two characters who we never really have seen interacting before this series…it was about time.

Thought Bubbles

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #86
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Naifeh

More awkward dialogue from Henderson here but she has certainly improved a lot. It is nice to see the use of though bubbles in a comic too. I have no idea what is going on with Dr. Barnes but I am intriqued and I am hoping that Bombshell and Aquagirl will be okay.  The back-up was still good as the trio ends up in hell. I liked the mention of Kid Devil…it seems like the Titans have forgotten they recently lost a dear friend and member of the team but Zachary Zatara certainly hasn’t. Although I wonder what he meant about Eddie’s soul.

Vegas Magic

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Zatanna (Volume 2) #4
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Chad Hardin

Zatannna travels to Las Vegas and meets up with her cousin and a strange billionaire with a talking picture. In the end, she gets attacked by some crazy fire demons. Gotta love this book! Hardin was also a perfect fill-in artist as I liked his art a lot and it works nicely here. I don’t know why Dini has not been writing Gotham City Sirens lately, but at least this book is Dini-rific. I look forward to seeing more of Zachary Zatara as he makes a great sidekick to Zatanna.

Titans In Trouble

tt85 Teen Titans (Volume 3) #85
Written by Felicia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Niafeh

 

Everything is going to hell for the Teen Titans as they fight this Wyld guy (who I still don’t even get is) and his crazy evil planet. The dialogue is corny as usual but I didn’t hate the issue like I do sometimes. Hendeson seems to be getting better as she goes along. I am actually worried for some of these characters here.  The back-up continues to be rather good – although I don’t really like how Zatara is drawn as if he is Asian. Loved all the magic stuff.

Action 889 and 890

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Action Comics #889
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trauttman
Art by Jose Perez
Co-Feature by James Robinson
Art by Cafu

 

The main story ends Rucka and Trautmann’s run on the book by having Chris and Thara defeat the false Rao. It was a kind of a wimper of an ending. I have to say that I have grown to like these two characters as they have starred in this book – but not enough to really miss them. I like the mythology of it all but I think it is just time to move on. The finale to the Captain Atom back-up was more exciting as Mirabai is defeated and Captain Atom’s reputation restored. I really thought this back-up was a neat idea all-around and I’d say it was successful.

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Action Comics #890
Written by Paul Cornell
Art by Pete Woods

Wow that was unexpected. I wasn’t sure what to think when I heard Lex Luthor would be the new star of Action Comics but damn this was awesome. Lex is an evil bastard and Cornell writes him that way. He has an employee killed just for embarrassing him, he builds a robot Lois to be his companion haha, and he is obsessed with finding the secrets to the Power Rings. Great start!

Hey, Pretty Art!

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #84
Written by Felecia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Naifeh

 

Henderson’s writing isn’t half bad when teamed with a good artist like Luis. I actually enjoyed this issue – and that is saying a lot considering how bad the last few issues have been. The best moments had to be with Aquagirl and Bombshell waiting it out in the ocean – and wow does Luis draws a beautiful oceanscape. I love how he draws Wonder Girl too. Wonder Girl is right to be annoyed with Superboy acting like she is his girlfriend in the field because it undermines her authority as leader. So far not bad for this arc, although it is a little too late for Henderson as the writer of this book. At least she started off her last arc on the book well. In the Coven back-up, all the dreams of Zachary Zatara, Black Alice, and Traci 13 are coming true and Traci and Zatara are trying to put things back to how they really were – but Black Alice doesn’t want to. So far this co-feature has been really good and I look forward to see where it leads.

The Coven Betters The Titans

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Teen Titans (Volume 3) #83
Written by Felicia D. Henderson
Art by Jose Luis
Co-Feature by Rex Ogle
Art by Ted Naifeh

 

With all the poor dialogue and abrupt changing of scenes, one thing can be said about Henderson is that she utilizes all the Titans effectively and their powers. I appreciate that. Otherwise, yes this is awful dialogue. The sad thing is the plot is not bad, she should be a plotter just maybe not a writer. Superboy and Aquagirl is interesting….I can’t see Cassie and Connor officially breaking up. Blue Beetle is gone with this issue I guess. Anyways, I guess we are just killing time till Krul begins his run on this book. Luckily, the new back-up was just awesome! I was excited for this new team of teen magic heroes – but I didn’t expect it to be this good! I can’t wait to see Black Alice, Traci 13, and Zatara team up! Speaking of Traci 13, up until this issue I always found the character to be boring. Nice job Ogle!

Attack Of The Starheart

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Justice League of America #45
Written by James Robinson
Art by Mark Bagley

 

I am sorry but anyone who hates on this book should be beaten. This is a hundred times better then Meltzer or McDuffie’s runs. Robinson utilizes the DC Universe to the fullest and brings in characters and concepts you would never expect. I love it! Dick is the perfect leader for the League and I love Starman and Congorilla and Donna’s happiness. I wonder how long before Jade realizes that Batman isn’t Bruce? She doesn’t know yet right? Robinson does an excellent job of explaining the history of the starheart…although I never knew that it was sentient I do not think. This could be very interesting. I like how he said the Guardians bottled up Black Energy with Green to create the starheart so that is why Obsidian and Jade have different powers. Supergirl’s fight with Power Girl was probably not needed…it seems like they are always fighting and I do not know that I necessarily want her on the team, but I don’t dislike the idea of her joining either. This was great stuff and I can not wait to see where it goes next. Oh and Bagley’s art is pretty great here too.

Short Reads

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Action Comics #888
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trauttman
Art by Pere Perez
Co-Feature by James Robinson
Art by Cafu

 

Both features in this issue seemed to be quick short reads to me. I liked all of the other heroes showing up to help fight the false Rao and all of the stuff with Pakistan and India. That was smart storytelling but I wish more happened and the debut of the mythical Nightwing wasn’t as cool as I expected it to be. I enjoyed it but I wasn’t overly excited about it. The back-up featuring Captain Atom was just a little battle with the forces of Mirabai – nothing exciting happened and this usually the best part of this book.

International And Interdimensional Incidents

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Action Comics #887
Written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trauttman
Art by Pere Perez
Co-Feature by James Robinson
Art by Cafu

 

This issue shows just how in touch Lois is with the superhero community as she gets flown across borders by her connections. Flamebird and Nightwing try to fight the new “False Rao” but ultimately Nightwing gets thrown back into the Phantom Zone. Will this be his final fate? Not sure but I look forward to finding out. Rucka does not write any part of the co-feature which is rather strange since he isn’t doing Last Stand of New Krypton either. I don’t want to start rumors but could there have been some kind of falling out with him and Robinson? Or is Rucka just not interested in the Superman stuff anymore? Who knows? The back-up was short and sweet as Captain Atom goes through Skartaris and into Sorcerer’s World to take on Mirabai.

Epic Mystery

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Superman #692
Written by James Robinson
Art by Fernando Dagnino

I like that Ryan Choi is being mentioned in two books this week! At least DC isn’t completely ignoring him for the boring Ray Palmer. This was a spectacular issue in my opinion. I love how Robinson rings in obscure characters and plays with the DC Universe so well. When he writes, he uses continuity and characters very effectively. There were a lot of developments here. Mon-El is alive (shocking – not really) but the Guardian, thinking he is dead, gives aways Mon-El’s secret identity. I also like the developents with Zatara. What is this power source they are talking about? What is Mirabai up to? This is truly an epic mystery. I don’t think we are even close to having all the answers.

Cohesion

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Superman #690
Written by James Robinson
Art by Pere Perez

There has been a lot said at how Robinson isn’t telling one cohesive story in this series and it jumping too much all over the place. I think the people who already thought that will be utterly convinced by this issue, which seemed to to have a to be continued in a different comic on every page. I am a fan of the DC Universe so it doesn’t bother me but I imagine others wouldn’t be so pleased. The guest artist is decent but I miss Guedes already. There didn’t seem to be much cohesion in this story and it was jarring, even for me. But I still Robinson makes great use of the DCU by referring to obscure characters like Mark Merlin – who even I have never heard of.

Connected


Superman #687

Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

I read a review of this issue somewhere that said it was just a bunch of disconnected scenes. I don’t agree with that assessment at all. Robinson is building all of these seemingly disconnected scenes to something huge. You can tell he has had long-rang plans for this book for a while as he even follows up on threads all the way from his first arc. Black Lightning is in Metropolis apparently (which seems to be breaking the rules of the Outsiders about total dedication to the team but I digress) and on the cover he is flying? What the hell? I love how Robinson is really using the character of Metropolis, we even get to see their sewers and Steel and Atlas talk about street nicknames and neighborhoods. It’s really great stuff and any fan of the DC Universe knows the best thing about it is is its fictional cities. I still have yet to understand why Mon-El joined the science police, still seems as uninteresting as when Wonder Woman joined the Department of Metahuman Affairs.