RandoMonday: Justice League of America #11

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Justice League of America (2006) #11 by Brad Meltzer, Gene Ha, Rob Leigh, Art Lyon, Adam Schlagman, and Eddie Berganza, with cover by Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald

This has always been one of my favorite issues of the Brad Meltzer written JLA. I first read this in the trade collection, and in large part because of this issue and that I loved the relaunch of this title so much, I went and bought all of the single issues. This is a gripping done-in-one story focusing on Red Arrow and Vixen. A building has collapsed and they are both trapped inside. A lot of the story is Roy Harper assessing the situation and convincing Vixen to use her powers to get them free. Vixen, unfortunately, comes across as the damsel in distress and is a disservice to the character, but it does also show that heroes sometimes have feet of clay. I just think they could have easily reversed the roles, especially because of Red Arrow’s past and his anxiety over orphaning his daughter, and the story would have been just as strong, though the ending would need to be tweaked.

Ha’s and Lyon’s art really worked well to convey the claustrophobic nature of the story. There’s a reference to smoke where they are trapped and the grainy way the colors are shown really accentuates that aspect. The pacing of this story is top notch. The first page is mostly black panels with jagged borders and dialog boxes with gray text to give us what happened before page one. As each panel progresses, we see more and more of Red Arrow on the right as they situation is revealed to us, and when you turn the page, there’s a two-page spread reveal. The next few pages build the tension as Red Arrow attempts to locate how close Vixen is to himself. Then there’s another reveal demonstrating just how bad things are for the characters.

The rest of the issue is mostly discovery: that Vixen’s powers have changed and is why she can’t call upon a burrowing animal to help them escape, and, in another full-page reveal, that they are trapped upside down in the rubble. The following page is again mostly black panels with text, but the dialog boxes start off upside down and turn as you read each panel, simulating the movement of the characters in total darkness. Of course, they finally escape, and the issue ends with them ascending in the water as the panels fade to black again, just as they issue started. The dialog of the people who spot them ends with, “Sure that’s them?” “Definitely them.” “The ones who saved us.” I like it when the heroic efforts of our costumed heroes are appreciated.

Finally, there’s a few Titans references Red Arrow throws out, further endearing me to this story, such as when Dick trained him to breath and focus in a crisis situation, just as Batman had trained Dick, and Red Arrow compares the trembling in Vixen’s voice to Gar (Changeling) when he lost Terra. I love when writers/artists throw in continuity stuff, thus building a larger narrative. It’s called the DCU for a reason! :)

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Podcast 124: Secret Identities #1-7

Direct Download (2:04:19)

Peter Rios (of The Daily Rios podcast) joins me to discuss the Image Comics series Secret Identities. We discuss in depth this wonderful superhero series by Brian Joines, Jay Faerber, and Ilias Kyriazis, et al.

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via Apple podcasts.

Thanks for listening!

Podcast Episode 92: New Teen Titans Spotlight



To commemorate the New Teen Titans 35th anniversary (better late than never!), I talk about my favorite comic book series of all time!

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via iTunes.

Thanks for listening!

Links:

Direct Download (56:50)

Acquisition Avalanche 2015, the second one!

I’ve acquired some more comics from fellow collector Dean, from Captain Comics in Boise, ID, and from eBay, so I wanted to show them to you. Thanks for watching!

www.youtube.com/user/longboxreview/

RandoMonday: New Teen Titans #6

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

New Teen Titans (1981) #6 by Marv Wolfman & George Pérez (co-creators), Pablo Marcos (guest inker), John Costanza (letterer), Jerry Serpe (colorist), Len Wein (editor), and George Pérez (cover)

This comic is cover dated April, 1981, but it would be several years before I obtained it and found out how the Titans defeated Trigon the Terrible for the first time. This issue opens just after Raven joins her father in order to spare Earth. Then, we get a lesson in just how much of a massive dick Trigon is. First, he kills a young girl for insulting him after Raven saves her, then he destroys a planet, and finally he admits to Raven that he lied to her when he told her that he would spare Earth. Meanwhile, the other Titans try to convince the Azarathians to help them, but only Raven’s mother, Arella, helps take the Titans to Trigon’s stronghold. Along the way, they, and we, learn Raven’s origin: how Arella became pregnant by Trigon, and how the Azarathians rescued her and then helped to raise and train Raven to control her emotions. The Titans then confront Trigon, but are easily defeated. Arella & Raven make their escape from Trigon’s clutches, and then Raven frees the Titans. The teen heroes develop a plan to defeat Trigon by working together, and with help and sacrifice from Arella, Trigon is banished.

I have to say, after so long between knowing the Titans battled and defeated Trigon, and actually reading how those events unfolded, I was a little disappointed. Also, when you compare this story with the second bout in the 1984 Baxter series, this one falls short. However, this is not a bad end to a grand battle against a god-like being. In fact, the somber tone that ends the story was different from most of the comics that I was reading at the time. Of course, NTT often told superhero stories a bit differently, which is one reason why I loved the series so much.