Written by: The CinCitizens
Week after week, every Wednesday, there is a sudden influx of content in the comic book world. It's CC2K's job to sift through the garbage to find the gold. Every week we'll be bringing you reviews on the widest range of books possible. This week: Action Comics, Battle for the Cowl, Ex Machina, Witchblade and more!
Titans # 11 Review by Kevin Hunter
Writer – Sean McKeever
Pencils – Howard Porter
Color – Edgar Delgado
Inks – Wayne Faucher
Letters – Pat Brosseau
I’ve been a fan of the Titans since they were teens and Donna Troy wore a ponytail. I even followed these Justice League juniors during the Marv Wolfman/George Perez years in the 1980’s and 1990’s when they introduced the current lineup that includes, Raven, Starfire, Cyborg, Jericho and Changeling – or Beast Boy – take your pick.
Since the 1980’s Titans reunited last year I have liked each issue and Titans #11, "A World Without", is no exception. This issue continues the story from last month where Nightwing says goodbye, leaving the remaining Titans without its long time team leader. They also have to find a missing Jericho, who fought both the Titans and Justice League to a standstill before disappearing. Butt there is plenty more the story in Titans "A World Without". The team must now deal with what to do without a real leader among other things. With Nightwing gone, each member now has to pick of the pieces and deal with the future as well as a very haunting past.
For instance, Starfire has to come to terms that not only is Dick Grayson gone from her professional life, but her personal life as well. As many of you know, the two have had an on again, off again, on again, off again affair for more than 20 years.
Donna Troy may be the obvious choice to take over as leader of the Titans. She’s one of the original members and is probably the most responsible. Plus, I’ve always considered her to be second in charge anyway. But in "A World Without", she’s not sure about the direction of the team and whether or not they even need a team leader.
I loved everything about this issue. The story, the art and the plotline were all great. We see a very personable side of each character as they deal with the past and the future. It makes want to know even more about what the team is going through personally, and have you wondering just where in the world is Jericho and just how powerful has he become, and how can he be stopped. What you also get in "A World Without" is a glimpse of things to come in the crossovers Teen Titans #69 and the Teen Titans Annual. It will start to really come together in Titans #12 next month in a story titled "Deathtrap Part 1."
And who says you can’t do a good Titans story without Dick Grayson?
5.0 out of 5
Writer – Kurt Brusiek
Art – Mark Bagley
Inks – Art Thibert
Colors – Pete Pantazis
Letters – Pat Brosseau
Book #41 in the 52-issue Trinity series continues with yet another cataclysmic DC end-of-the-universe-as-we-know-it story with "Our Rightful Realm".
There are plenty of guest stars here. I guess the more you have, the more interesting the story may seem. There’s Hal Jordan, Black Lightning and other members of the Justice League (there’s even a Plastic Man sighting). Members of the Titans, Justice Society and the Metal Men also lend a hand. And if that’s not enough for you, uber villains Lex Luthor and The Joker also check in this issue. And there’s a Justice League International reference. Remember them? If you do, like me, you’ve been reading comic books way too long.
But wait! There’s more! Just when you thought the stars couldn’t get any bigger? There’s an all too brief appearance by Barry Allen, who is expected to make his triumphant return to the DC Universe in April. But hasn’t there been a Barry Allen sighting in just about every DC book lately?
Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are somewhere in exile and the Black Trinity continues its war with, well, everybody! Everything’s changing and no one has a clue on how to solve this latest crisis with Krona calling all the shots. And just how much more can we take of Krona arguing with himself? Unfortunately, we’ll just have to wait and see just how different everything will be once the big three return.
I like most of DC’s end-of-the-universe books. I also enjoy books with plenty of guest stars. The more the merrier. Some can even save a book, but that may not be the case here. I think I’m starting to get fed up with stories such as this. Come on. Enough is enough!
On the other hand, I love the artwork in this book by Mark Bagley and the cover by Shane Davis and John Dell. The cameos from the DC Universe characters is fine too, (but what? No Ray Palmer?) but sadly that’s all I like about this issue.
I’m trying really, really hard to stay with this series (even though I am backed up in a few issues), because it does feature the big three – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Who can say no to that?
I’m starting to wish I had. But I’m a trooper. I’m going to see this thing until the very end!
Ugh, only 11 more issues to go!
2.5 out of 5
Witchblade #125 Review by Gary M. Kenny
Writer – Ron Marz
Artist – Stjepan Sejic
Cover – Chris Bachalo, Stjepan Sejic
Top Cow’s last super event, First Born, radically changed their comic universe. The balance (that) the Witchblade made in the ongoing battle between Heaven and Hell had become compromised. Initially, NYPD Detective Sara Pezzini gave up the Witchblade to a dancer named Dani Baptiste, after she was impregnated by the evil being known as the Darkness. Sara mentored Dani and the two became close friends. As Dani wielded the Witchblade, Sara and her unborn child were in constant danger. Dani stuck by and became one of Sara’s close protectors. During the pregnancy, Sara was on the brink of death; in order to save her friends life she split her Witchblade amulet in two. One side handed to (the original host) Sara, and the other to (the newcomer) Dani, creating two Witchblade bearers.
For the past year, Dani had become Sara’s apprentice. They have coexisted peacefully but according to Top Cow “that’s all about to end.” Witchblade issue #125 begins a six-issue epic entitled "War of the Witchblades". Top Cow promises that at the end of this arc, only one person shall be the bearer of the Witchblade.
This issue struck me as the equivalent to really good boxing match. Before the fight, sides are shown, both fighters are given back stories, and it is up to the viewer to figure out: who’s the better of the two? Also, WB #125’s story sort of flows similarly to a boxing fight. It begins with Sara, how her life is going, her love life, and her relationship with her sister. Artist Stjepan Sejic (brilliantly draws each issue) lightly show’s Sara’s rage and power by characterizing her Witchblade with a red and bronze glow. Dani is portrayed as having a little bit of an ego, a questioned sexuality, and her thoughts and good intentions are shown to be from the heart. Her Witchblade has a blue and silver glow that hints of purity, innocence, and good nature. Is this a sign of light verses dark? Sara and Dani use the Witchblade with such different methods and mentalities; this promised fight could be immense.
Ron Marz has been writing Witchblade since 2007. He’s creating some quality story lines with this series. Now, I have really enjoyed his Green Lantern one-shots and his experience with DC’s emerald rings have really shined through in the Witchblade universe, especially the last few issues. The Witchblade can only have so many powers, yet both Dani and Sara seem to use them in opposite ways. It is really interesting. If I was to ask: how many versions of the Flash have there been and can anyone really tell the difference? I bet most cannot, even I, a big Flash fan can get confused at times. Nevertheless, in Witchblade, both bearers are so drastically different making each encounter spark something new and unique within the series. Sure, one girl’s a blonde while the other is a brunette, but the way Marz writes his characters and how their dialogue convey their experience, their mind state, and their morals, both Dani and Sara could be drawn as stick figures and I would be able to tell the difference. Top Cow is lucky to have this guy on board one of their flagship titles.
I feel this issue is very close to an issue #1 of a mini-series. It gave this reader just enough to entice, promised plenty of action, and will redefine the series. It’s only part one of six. It’s only going to get better.
4.0 out of 5.