Birds of Prey #6: Looks like the whole White Canary business is resolved (for now). I was really impressed by this series at first, but the finish to this story felt a little wanting. I appreciate what Huntress did to help Black Canary, but ultimately the story was pointless. Now, there may be ramifications down the road and I’ll be fine with that, but as a first story arc of this new series, I was a little disappointed, especially because I felt the first couple issues were really good. As far as the art, the team of Lee & Melo on pencils was ok. It’s not Benes quality, but my only real gripe is that all of the female faces pretty much look the same. If it wasn’t for the hair color and outfits, I don’t know if I could easily tell the characters apart. Look at the last panel on page 9: Lady Shiva and the White Canary could be twins. On the next page, panel 2, Lady Blackhawk and Black Canary look very much the same as well. A pity we can’t get Benes back, or have cover artist Alina Urusov do the interiors.
Unwritten #19: So my little Fail Whale bit from last issue was just 1) me reading too much into the art or 2) a tiny joke put in by the artist. Ahh, well. Anyway, this series makes a big deal about the power of words and story, yet, here we are at issue 19 and we finally get a scene that really drives home that idea. In a flashback scene, Tom’s father scares the bejeezus out of the kid, so much that young Tom throws out every book in his room, and Tom’s father stands outside his son’s room with a smile on his face. What a right bastard, that one. And what is up with Lizzie kissing Tom? Actually, I’ve been waiting for that, but Carey makes a point out of her calling Tom “Tom” in that scene, so something is up.
Did you happen to watch the preview of the Young Justice cartoon on Cartoon Network last week? If so, boy did you miss out. Now you’ll have to wait until January when the show debuts in its regular slot. The show is a mixture of the original Teen Titans, the Young Justice crew from the 90s, and some modern stuff thrown in. The story focused on Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad (the latest version just introduced in Brightest Day), with Superboy showing up later. The animation looked good. If you’ve seen the Green Arrow short feature on the Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD, the style looked to me to be similar to that, only darker (maybe even closer to that of Batman: Under the Red Hood). There’s some great dialogue between the young heroes, as well as the background chatter–in a scene at the beginning, you can hear a spectator remark that Green Arrow’s partner being named Speedy makes no sense if he’s not superfast. :D
I loved how we also got to see a fair amount of the Justice League, with Bruce Greenwood returning as Batman. I think he may now be my favorite Batman voice, and I hope they ask him to do more Batman animated films in the future. The voice of Robin, however, bugged me, as it was a little too whiny for my taste (thanks for casting Jesse McCartney guys). Also surprising was how much Aqualad was shown to be the J’onn J’onz (heart) of this team. He didn’t take the lead (as Robin predictably did), but he was the voice of reason in many scenes. I don’t quite get his powers (he can control water and discharge electricity?), but I like how he’s being portrayed so far. Kid Flash was done nicely, even if he does have those stupid Impulse inspired goggles that aren’t a part of his mask. And while we see Speedy in the beginning of the episode, he won’t be part of the team–I thought that was an interesting choice, much like seeing and hearing from the Justice Leaguers. Plus, Superman is put off by the discovery of his clone (Superboy) and even snubs the poor kid, causing some “Daddy” angst down the road, I’m sure.
Rounding out the team is Miss Martian (one of the few characters introduced during the “One Year Later” stories that I actually like), who shows up at the very end, and Artemis (who wasn’t in the premiere episode at all). I wish Speedy was the arrow slinger in this show (especially since it was his outburst in the Hall of Justice that spurred on the other three to team up), but apparently the producers think they need more of a female presence on the team.
I am very excited to watch this series. I have been a fan of the Teen Titans since the early 80s, and with the high production values in story and animation that I’ve seen so far, this may even rival my love for the animated Justice League/Unlimited series.