Wednesday, September 14

Justice Society of America #53 (Sep 2011) and Teen Titans #98 (L. Sep 2011)

“The Secret History of Monument Point, Chapter Three: Strange Adventures”

I wonder how many various issues of DC Comics over the years have had issue titles of “Strange Adventures” in the logo of the old science-fiction title starring Adam Strange?

I will say this: It is pleasant to see Jerry Ordway's art on this book for a change. Solid, heroic, traditional – as the Justice Society itself ought to be.

Even as Alan Scott Green Lantern and Wildcat Sr. interrogate a prisoner at Belle Reve Federal Prison in my own state of Louisiana finding out many of the secrets under Monument Point, the team that has descended into the depths below the city along with the Challengers of the Unknown find their powers mysteriously nullified. That is, until Jesse Quick (whom Ace wants to call “Flash Girl” – but we also discover that his name is really “Leslie,” hence his obsession with code names) impulsively destroys a “consecratorial structure” (translate “altar”) that seems to be the center of a power-nullification field – and thereby she sets in motion the fulfillment of the “prophecy” that had been haunting her, pronounced by time-traveller Per Degaton, that “What's going to happen to the world … It'll be your doing.” In another juxtaposition of narratives, GL and Wildcat find out that some kind of dark god named “D'Arken” (sorry, it's lame) feeds off metahumans' powers – and had been kept in a kind of stasis beneath the city by that nullification field – that's now gone, unleashing him. “That's why Eagin (a government official that has opposed the JSA's presence in Monument Point) wanted all of us out … We're like power batteries to him.” The JSA has unwittingly “made D'Arken more powerful than a thousand gods.” “To be concluded.”

“Prime Numbers”

Somehow Superboy-Prime inflicts his presence on the DC Universe yet again – yawn – with a mad on for Connor Kent Superboy. So somehow he gathers an entourage of villains that have previously faced the Titans and attacks them – Headcase, Sun Girl, Indigo, Inertia, Persuador, and Zookeeper. But that's not all – by the end of the issue a series of other Connors appear as well – the punk one with the jacket and glasses, the bald one who tried to kill them at the behest of one of his two dads Lex Luthor, and another one in some kind of futuristic costume that I can't quite place. “Next Issue … There Can Be Only One! Or Can There?!?” Can't say I really care.

Actually, yes I do.  I have developed quite a dislike for Superboy-Prime stories. Only some of them written by Geoff Johns, who created the character (well, sort of - he took the heroic, self-sacrificing youth of Crisis on Infinite Earths and "developed" him into the petulant continuity-shattering villain of Infinite Crisis), are of any interest whatsoever, and frankly I just find myself annoyed when he shows up. One good thing I hope comes of the DCnU – no more Superboy-Prime stories. If he shows up there, I will not be responsible for my own actions!

Really, the character bits in this issue are more interesting than the overall story – things like Bart's seemingly unhealthy “addiction” to his virtual reality “training” chamber; Connor and Cassie's interaction (Connor's interior monologue: “Those with experience rarely tell you that breaking up is never done in one shot. It's a series of conversations. Each more difficult than the last. The longer the relationship, the more loose ends”) as he takes a box with “his things” in it, which leads to him and Rose having a brief encounter; Raven is feeling more and more isolated, literally driven further into the darkness by the light of new member Solstice; and Gar has a date that's interrupted by Superboy-Prime and company.

I had some high hopes when J. T. Krul became the new Teen Titans writer about ten issues back now, based on my first exposure to him which was the Blackest Night: Titans miniseries – top-notch. He's been kind of hit and miss on other things, both that I've read (JLA: Rise and Fall) and that I've only read about (Green Arrow). This run of Teen Titans just really hasn't done it for me. And I don't have a lot of hope for what's been announced for the Relaunch, either.

And with that, at least a couple of weeks late, I'm finished with my July-released comics, received all at the beginning of August.  Next up:  The last month of the old DCU.

Cheers.  Or maybe not.

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