OOOH LA DI DA I READ SOME COMIC BOOKS:New Teen Titans: Games and Officer Downe

The New Teen Titans: Games (Wolfman/Perez, DC Comics, 2011)

I just really did not enjoy the dialogue in this one. It’s basically an old Teen Titans story that didn’t make it to print on time, and has only now been completed, and it shows. All I hate about NTT is present here, the “GRR WE’RE NOT YOUR DADDY’S TITANS WE GOT THAT EIGHTIES SURLY TEENAGER SWAG(this despite the fact that they are, in fact, my daddy’s Titans, and, considering that a nonzero contingent of the team is left over from the earlier Titans, HIS daddy’s Titans.)” dialogue, the ponderous, overwrought narration in the Raven bits, that prick Terry long(not dialogue, but he still sucks ass), and Danny Chase, who’s hackosphering in your webface, n00b(it’s not quite that bad, but still terrible).

It’s a good thing they kept the good parts, which largely consist of George Perez, who is awesome. There’s enough amazing stuff here, from the part where he uses the white walls of the Guggenheim museum as faux-gutters during a scene where Jericho is falling along those selfsame walls, to the astounding art in the Raven segments set in this sort of shadow realm thing which is done in this inkwash sort of thing that really looks otherworldly compared to the more grounded segments, which are packed with detail, more in a Geoff Darrow way than a Jim Lee way(fuck it, it’s in a goddamn George Perez way, he predated both the motherfucks), with at the least 4 panels to each page, structured in really nice ways. I’m specifically thinking of this one scene near the end where, spoilers, Nightwing is facing off against the main threat, the Gamesmaster (Gamesmaster? and the title is Games? Really inventive title for your book there, Marv) in this great silhouetted Tampopo-esque fight scene while strips between the larger strips of the fight flash back to a previous conversation about said Gamesmaster. But he had 20 years to do this, so it’s expected from him.

So yeah, it’s really nice to look at, but reading it is somewhat of a chore.

Officer Downe: Bigger Better Bastard Edition(Joe Casey/Chris Burnham, Image Comics)

This is amazing. It’s quite possibly the most insanely violent, (seemingly) completely thoughtless, incredibly inventive, unapologetically blood-drenched comic I’ve ever read, and that is awesome. It’s straight-up id food, pandering to the lizard brain in the best way. That doesn’t mean that it’s not smart in its own way, as the way it treats the titular Dredd clone(don’t try to tell me it’s not, as it’s the most obvious Dredd-biter to strap on a weapon and clean up the streets) makes it obvious that this seeming paragon of law enforcement is mentally deficient, if not outright demented, and pretty much something to be feared, so when it reaches the final 2-page spread, it strikes an odd blend of terror and excitement.

But the real amazing part is the art, and by corollary, the backmass. Burnam’s at the beginning of his game here, but still, DAMN. There’s not an ugly page in this thing, and combined with the Crabtree-esque coloring by Marc Letzmann, it’s like the best saturday morning cartoon I ever read. The backmatter is almost a tribute to the art, with about 19 or so pages dedicated solely to it, a step-by-steo and a sketchbook. Then there’s a beautiful pinup gallery.

The best part of the backmatter, though? the announcement of a Nixon’s Pals reissue in full color.

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