Friday, August 26, 2005

Teen Titans #27 - Two Out of Three IS Bad

I felt that this issue really deserved a close reading, because of the almost insurmountable rush of preconceptions surrounding the comic. How could I possibly have an unattached reading of the book on the first reading? I posit that I could not.

Therefore, I decided to read the comic three times, each time with a different goal.

The first time, I would read it normally.

The second time, I would read it more carefully, with an eye towards whether I made any rash decisions at first glance. Hard to trust the first glance a lot of times.

The third time, I would read only if, even upon the second reading, I still objectively found that the art was bad, in which case the third time I would read with an eye towards whether the art actively HURT the story in the comic.


I really disliked the comic book. The art was annoying, and it really (in my mind) detracted from the story, to the point where it hurt my ability to follow the story.

The story, by the way, did not seem to flow all that well either.

But the main problem with the comic was the art. Everyone pretty much looked ridiculous.


Upon a second, closer, reading, the story flows better. Still not the clearest story in the world (like the fact that one of the four teen metas is never given a name, a description, or, well, when it came down to having to kill off one of the metas later, it was ASTONISHING that he was one of the two killed off...hehe), but it flows better under a closer read.

In addition, there were plenty of nice character moments that made up for any problems with the flow of the story.

The bowling scene, in particular, was very well done.

Robin's inner monologue came CLOSE to Johnuckanick territory, with the whole comparison stuff that they used in Countdown (you know, ridiculous stuff like "Wonder Woman makes you feel like a man" or some such nonsense...or "Superman makes you feel proud and like a bug at the same time" silliness). Gail Simone treads the line with the whole "Batman does friends do this" thing, but she does not go overboard with it, so she pulls it back enough that I think that it really worked for the comic.

It is annoying how little we know about the new Hawk and Dove, especially their familiarity with the Titans, which really does not make much sense at all (note that it was not like Dawn was close to the Titans. How many Titans comics has Dawn even appeared in?), but that is clearly a problem with Johns, not Simone, as it was definitely a matter of "working with what they gave me."

Simone worked well with Kestrel, so if you were a big fan of the Hawk and Dove, you would be pleased with how she handled his character.

In any event, storywise, I was not thrilled with the action sequences, but the character-based aspects of the story worked well.

But the art?

Upon a closer reading, trying to be as objective as possible, I still thought that the art was poor.

Hawk, Dove and Wonder Girl all had bizarre body designs, certianly not looking teen in the least.

The designs of the new teen villains left a lot to be desired. If they were any more tired, the designs would be snoring (I won't mention how Grouse looked just like the Blob or how Server Aja looked just like Void, because that would be nitpicking, and I wouldn't dream of picking those nits).

It was funny seeing the back and forth between Liefeld and the colorist regarding the new additions Liefeld made to Robin's costume. Occasionally the colorist would comply and color them yellow, but most of the time, the colorist would draw them green so that they are not visible.

His Cyborg was creepy to look at.

His layouts were sparse to the point of almost not being layouts (and more just being "here are superheroes on a particular arrangement").

His Beast Boy was okay, but he did not draw him a lot.

Besides the biceps he gave Kid Flash, he drew him well enough.

His Raven was okay, as was his Robin, for the most part.

Overall, though, I found his art to be poor.


Here, the question is, did his art negatively affect the story? Would a better artist have made the story better?

And here, I do not think he did anything that bad.

Yeah, his layouts were almost non-existent, but the action aspects of the story were set up so sparsely that it did not affect the story any, I do not believe.

And he did not seem to have any problem adjusting to the "R & R" scene bowling.

Therefore, while I found his art to be poor, I do not think it was bad enough that you could not still enjoy the story, despite the art.

And the story was enjoyable enough, at least the character-driven stuff.

However, overall, in this instance, unlike Jim Steinman's thoughts on the subject, two out of three IS bad.

Read More


Anonymous Spencer said...

My LCS forced me to take a copy for free and then laughed at me. How is saying "Don't you like Rob Liefeld?!" and shoving his comics into my bag funny?

8/26/2005 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Kelson said...

I was going to post a review of this myself, but now I don't need to...

Actually, I thought that the art did detract from the story -- or at the very least, it didn't make an effort to tell the story. Too often it was more about showing dramatic poses than showing what was actually happening. I had to re-read the opening section trying to figure out whether there were 3 or 4 teen villains, and I could barely follow the last couple of pages. I couldn't tell what Kestrel had done on the last page without looking at the "Next Issue" blurb.

I'm going to have to pull out the 1988 Hawk and Dove miniseries, though, because I remember really liking it.

8/26/2005 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's right, Brian. You are making goob job.


8/27/2005 01:53:00 AM  
Anonymous thekamisama said...

Spencer said...
My LCS forced me to take a copy for free and then laughed at me. How is saying "Don't you like Rob Liefeld?!" and shoving his comics into my bag funny?

Forcing me to take a bag with a turd in it is unfunny, unfunny enough to tell my Comic Shop to rip-up my hold folder or whatever obligation i have to them, but I am picky like that.

8/27/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Michael May said...

My shop put a copy in my pull folder too. They do that with a lot of "hot books" that I didn't ask for and don't mind when I don't buy them, so that's okay.

But I had to giggle at the front cover, which says something like, "Come on, you know you want it." I shook my head at the notion of DC begging readers to buy a comic and put it back on the shelf.

8/30/2005 01:36:00 PM  
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Anonymous said...

Comic books are just like regular books. Some are good, some are bad, some are ugly. I hope the comic book industry will still survive the age of internet. They are a big part of my childhood.

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