Comic Book Review – Young Justice Book Three

Young Justice Book Three (2018)
Reprints Young Justice #18-19, Young Justice: Sins of Youth #1-2, Young Justice: Sins of Youth Secret Files and Origins #1, Superboy #74, Sins of Youth: JLA Jr. #1, Sins of Youth: Aquababy/Lagoon Man #1, Sins of Youth: Batboy and Robin #1, Sins of Youth: Kid Flash/Impulse #1, Sins of Youth: Starwoman and the JSA Jr. #1, Sins of Youth: Superman Jr/Superboy Sr #1, Sins of Youth: Wonder Girls #1, and Sins of Youth: The Secret/Deadboy #1
Written by Peter David, Todd Dezago, Chuck Dixon, Geoff Johns, D. Curtis Johnson, Karl Kesel, Dwayne McDuffie, Ben Raab, Brian K. Vaughn, Jay Faerber, Lary Stucker, Scotty Beatty, and Jim Alexander
Art by Todd Nauck, Carlo Barberi, Sunny Lee, Tom Grummett, Rob Haynes, Drew Johnson, Scott Kolins, Cary Nord, Michael Avon Oeming, Angel Unzueta, Mike S. Miller, Norm Breyfogle, Pasqual Ferry, and Cully Hamner

It all started with making Superman a weekly character. In the 1990s, the Man of Steel had four monthly series making it so that you could pick up the next chapter in the Superman saga every week of the month. This led to DC Comics shaping their publishing schedule around this four-week model. However, this ran into a problem when you had a month with a fifth Wednesday (traditionally New Comic Book Day). In 1997, DC introduced fifth-week events, a filler week where a collection of themed one-shots would be published. That grew into a space to have a mini-event, nothing world-shattering but a longer story, the type you might typically have seen in the summer annuals. This is how we got Sins of Youth.

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Comic Book Review – Wonder Woman: The Last True Hero Book One

Wonder Woman: The Last True Hero Book One (2020)
Reprints Wonder Woman Special #1, Wonder Woman #63, 64, 66-75, and Wonder Woman Annual #3
Written by William Messner-Loebs
Art by Jill Thompson, Paris Cullens, Lee Moder, and Brian Bolland

In the wake of War of the Gods and the conclusion of George Perez’s Wonder Woman run, DC had a fresh start. Around the same time, Giffen & DeMatteis were wrapping up their tenure on Justice League, so several books were getting a fresh coat of paint. William Messner-Loebs was brought on to write the Amazon. His most prominent work to this point had been a lukewarmly received run on The Flash, where he emphasized the working class elements of the speedster. He brought this same element to Wonder Woman while still trying to bring in fantastic details.

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Supervillain Spotlight – The Cheetah

Earlier, I looked at Max Lord, one of the villains in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984. Today, I’ll breakdown the second villain, The Cheetah. Unlike Lord, The Cheetah has always exclusively been a Wonder Woman enemy, but there have been multiple people that worked under that name. In 1985, DC Comics launched Crisis on Infinite Earths, a company-wide event that rebooted the entire timeline and compressed many parallel Earths into one. Before this, there had been two Cheetahs, neither of whom had superpowers and were mainly knock-offs of Batman’s villain Catwoman. With Crisis, these versions were erased to make way for writer-artist George Perez’s overhaul of Wonder Woman and her continuity. This led to a new Cheetah, one who derived her powers from dark mythic gods.

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Supervillain Spotlight – Maxwell Lord

The upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 is set to feature two villains, and I am writing up a spotlight on each. First up is a character who has been both a hero and a villain, and it wasn’t until 2006 that they were even associated with Wonder Woman so directly.

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Comic Book Review – Young Justice Book Two

Young Justice Book Two (2018)
Reprints Young Justice #8-17, Young Justice 80-Page Giant #1, Young Justice in No Man’s Land #1, Supergirl #36-37, and Young Justice Secret Files #1
Written by Peter David, Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, Beau Smith, Jay Faerber, Lary Stucker, and Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Todd Nauck, Leonard Kirk, Angel Unzueta, Coy Turnbull, Andy Kuhn, Justiniano, Sergio Cariello, Tommy Lee Edwards, Ryan Sook, Keron Grant, and Dietrich Smith

Woo boy! Young Justice has not turned out to be what I expected it would be. And this is not a good thing. I have always bristled at most superhero books with comedy, save the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League run. It takes a deft touch to balance humor and superheroics so that the stakes of the conflict don’t devolve into silliness. This is why Deadpool and Harley Quinn have just never appealed to me despite multiple attempts to read runs by different creative teams. Peter David chose to lean into the humor of a teen superhero book for better or worse.

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Comic Book Review – The Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus Volume 1

The Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus Volume 1 (2019)
Reprints The Flash #164-191, The Flash: Our Worlds at War, The Flash: Iron Heights, The Flash Secret Files & Origins #3, DC First: Flash and Superman
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Angel Unzueta, Scott Kolins, and Ethan van Sciver

Sometimes you need to be reminded of how damn good an old album, film, or comic book is by returning to them for a re-read. That’s how I felt cracking open this massive tome, taking me back to my college days and reading these issues in fragments thanks to my roommate Keith who was always filling the room with fantastic comics of the day. Where Mark Waid established Wally West as a unique, fully fleshed-out character, Geoff Johns builds the world out around Wally to make a place that feels alive.

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Comic Book Review – Young Justice Book One

Young Justice Book One (2017)
Reprints Young Justice: The Secret, JLA: A World Without Grown-Ups #1-2, Young Justice #1-7, Young Justice Secret Files and Origins #1
Written by Todd Dezago, Peter David, and D. Curtis Johnson
Art by Todd Nauck, Mike McKone, Humberto Ramos, and Ale Garza

You are likely familiar with Young Justice as the animated series, which aired on Cartoon Network from 2010-2012 and then revived on the DC Universe platform in 2019. That title and most of its characters had their start in this comic book series from the late-1990s. Young Justice in response to the Teen Titans being aged into early adulthood and thus leaving a vacuum for a youth-oriented super-team. A new name was chosen based on the popularity of Grant Morrison’s JLA run, and so we had Young Justice starting as a trio of characters and growing its roster from there.

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Comic Book Review: Joker: Killer Smile

Joker: Killer Smile #1-3 & Batman: The Smile Killer one-shot
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

I have enjoyed Gideon Falls, the independent comic by the creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. I started reading and review the series in March of 2019 and followed up a year later with a look at the second and third volumes. Be on the lookout in December for another update as I am reading through the current issues. This led me to become interested in the duos Joker mini-series and subsequent Batman one-off for DC Comics. Lemire is no stranger to DC Comics having penned Superboy, Animal Man, Green Arrow, and other work. Sorrentino has also dabbled at DC, illustrating Lemire’s Green Arrow run as well as the New 52 I, Vampire series.

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Comic Book Review – New Teen Titans Omnibus Volume 4

New Teen Titans Omnibus Volume 4 (2019)
Reprints New Teen Titans V2 #10-31, Annuals #1,2, Omega Men #34
Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by Eduardo Barretto, Romeo Tanghal, and John Byrne

In the same way, I want to speed up my read-through of Wonder Woman, I am doing the same with Marv Wolfman’s New Teen Titans. The first half of this omnibus was already reviewed when I read New Teen Titans Volume 10, so I will be skipping over talking about those issues and getting to the new stuff. Like Wonder Woman and Mark Waid’s The Flash, I started reading this run in 2017 and don’t want to wait too long to get through the issues. The sad thing about Wolfman’s Titans compared to Perez’s Wonder Woman, or Waid’s Flash is that Wolfman’s Titans have entered a woeful period.

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Superhero Spotlight – Captain Atom

In the summer of 2019, I read through almost every major DC Comics crossover event of the 1980s, 1990s, and up to Infinite Crisis/52 in the mid-2000s. A pattern I picked up on was that in almost every occasion, the character Captain Atom was present and often played a critical role. In particular, he was at the center of Invasion! in command of Earth’s forces against the alien alliance and Armageddon 2001, where he was intended to be the face behind the villainous Monarch until editorial changes. But who is Captain Atom? He’s hardly a household name to people outside of comics fandom.

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