Weekend Warriors – Teen Titans (Vol 3) #1

The cover to Teen Titans (Vol 3) 1
Modern Dance Camp and the Teen Titans are the two youth clubs which require wearing spandex.
From Series: Teen Titans (Vol 3)

What Happened:

Being a teen is hard. We’ve all heard it. It’s a particle in the “facts of life” atmosphere we breathe and have yet to choke. Like “never go to bed angry” and “swimming after a big meal will kill you” it is undeniably true. Being a super-powered teen seems to be easier though! For instance, Superboy (Conner Kent) regularly skips school to go flying and do some on-brand crop circle graffiti. Fun!

Superman (Clark Kent) thinks Conner could be doing more with his time, or at least cause less of a negative effect on the nation’s wheat yield, so he signed him up for the new Teen Titans. This version of the Teen Titans is half super hero training camp and half youth group. So Conner’s weekends will now be filled with battles to the death and acoustic covers of The Goo Goo Dolls.

A multitasking Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Robin (Tim Drake) have a similar conversation while fighting for their lives. Unlike Superman, Batman isn’t concerned with Tim’s school work. He just wants Tim to see his friends more and not become a secluded weirdo. Batman is not self reflective.

The first and third men to call themselves The Flash (Jay Garrick and Wally West), debate letting Impulse (Bart Allen) join the Teen Titans. Jay thinks only being responsible for the super-speed powered teenager with ADHD four days a week instead of seven is a great idea. A GREAT idea. Wally is a little more precious with what the Teen Titans stand for and isn’t sure Bart’s ready to be held to that standard. After all, super heroes who don’t take things seriously can get people killed. They agree to give Bart a try on the Titans but Wally doesn’t expect much from Bart. Bart hears the whole exchange.

The final recruit, Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), is picked up from school by Starfire (Koriand’r) during a particular bad day. Cassie punched her principal’s desk into pieces. It’s never stated out loud but she probably broke a rule while doing this, so Cassie is pretty sure she’s in trouble. She’ll get a call home at the least.

Meeting Beast Boy (Garfield Logan) and hearing Cyborg (Victor Stone) over the loud speaker at their new headquarters The Titans Tower in the San Fransisco Bay really sets the tone for how weird the weekend is going to be for the four friends. Things were already pretty awkward between them though. The last time they hung out a bunch of people died. So hugs are given but not appreciated among the teens.

Later that night, Tim and Conner are wondering if the whole Teen Titans idea is pointless when Tim gets an email. The email is about from where the human half of Conner’s DNA comes. Tim and Conner and both shocked to read it is Lex Luthor. This is probably spam and shouldn’t be taken seriously though because we’ve all gotten that email that starts “HALF YOUR DNA IS A LEX LUTHOR SEND CREDIT CARD NOW”.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Beast Boy learned how to romance women from Tex Avery cartoons.

Creators:
Writers: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Mike McKone
Inker: Marlo Alquiza
Colourist: Jeromy Cox
Letterer: Comicraft
Editors: Tom Palmer Jr., Eddie Berganza
Executive Editor: Dan DiDio

JLA #8

The cover to JLA #8
I don’t think that’s the delivery boy. Don’t open the door.
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

The old Justice League villain The Key has captured members of the JLA and put them into personal virtual reality simulations. He is hoping these simulations will help him “unlock” something he is looking for. Sometimes when you’ve got a mayo jar which won’t open, you’ve got to let someone else take a crack I guess.

Superman’s simulation is that Krypton never exploded and he because the Green Lantern of it’s sector. He gets pretty much the same gig as in real life: beloved superhero getting lots of love from the ladies. Oh yeeeah! Then he finds a clue which points him in the direction of Earth.

Batman’s simulation is one where he has grown older and married Catwoman (Selena Kyle). He has retired from being Batman and handed the job over to the current Robin (Tim Drake). His own son, Bruce Jr. has become the new Robin. Now, if his son’s inexplicable red hair can be used a proof, it would seem part of Batman’s fantasy is that he is cuckolded by his wife and Commissioner Gordon. Batman just dropped one kink (fighting crime in a rubber suit) for another!

The simulation Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscria) has been put in has her and her sometimes love interest Steve Trevor running around as Indiana Jones wannabes. Which is a great fantasy. I’ve got no complaints there. Wonder Woman nailed it.

Aquaman (Arthur Curry) does little to help his case as the DC Universe’s least interesting character by having his fantasy be that he’s Kevin Costner in Waterworld. C’mon man…

While the team is all hooked up to their machines, playing a souped up version of Second Life, the newest JLA recruit Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) arrives on the Watchtower for his scheduled test. He stumbles upon the Key doing his Key-theyng (please read this word as “key-thing”, thanks!) and tries to stop him. The battle leaves Green Arrow without his quiver. He reluctantly picks up the trick arrows of his predecessor and father Ollie Queen from the trophy room.

Back in Batman’s sick fantasy, The Joker is about to kill his son.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Try to show up for your scheduled examines a few minutes earlier than you need to.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Oscar Jimenez
Inker: Chip Wallace
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Ruben Diaz

The Final Night #3

The cover to The Final Night #3
Oh wow! From up here you all look like ants! Gooey, blobby ants!
From Series: The Final Night

What Happened:

Warrior’s bar has become a headquarters for all the super heroes doing rescue work and patrolling. A lot of people are not handling the idea that a horrible space cloud is trying to eat their sun. People are cold and upset by all this and are starting to lash out, forcing the super heroes to protect everyone from each other. A part time babysitting job! Well, at least the super heroes don’t have anything else more important to do.

Warrior, a dude with the power to turn his hands into weapons, used to be a Green Lantern. He’s pretty frustrated he no longer has the powers of the Green Lanterns because that would be pretty useful when dealing with a sun-eater. There are only so many walls to needlessly blow up with his gun-hands after all!

Meanwhile, back in the science labs all the science-y people have realized the sun is going to blow up. Real soon. Too soon. There isn’t much anyone can do about it so a decision is made to not release this information to the public in order to prevent a panic. Superman, powerless because of the lack of sunlight, returns home to Smallville to visit his mom and dad before what most superheros are accepting to be the end of the world.

Dusk is getting ready to skedaddle. She’s done her job trying to warn the planet of the coming danger but failed yet again to save any lives. She hopes her next destination on the Sun-Eater’s path of gobbled up stars will be more productive. The Phantom Stranger shows up and starts to guilt Dusk about leaving the party early. “We were JUST going to start the dancing mix. Whadder you doin’?”

Still, Dusk is confident with the world’s approaching doom the people of the planet are going to start getting real dark. Phantom Stranger decides to play the Ghost of Christmas Present and gives Dusk a world wide tour on how human beings are not jerks.

Elsewhere, well-known jerk The Warrior is alone in his bar. When he sees a familiar green glow coming from his old Green Lantern costume on display.

What I Learned From This Comic:

The Warrior no longer owns a stuffed Tauntaun.

The Creators:
Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Patricia Mulvihill
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
Editor: Dan Thorsland
Assistant Editor: Ali Morales

Lex Luthor Is Bad At Helping – The Final Night #2

The cover to The Final Night #2
During the end of the world everyone inhibitions are dropped and Batman just starts walking around nude I guess.

From Series: The Final Night

What Happened:

It’s been two days since the Sun Eater has taken over the sun. The planet is getting pretty brisk.

Lex Luthor returns from his vacation and joins forces with the good guys to save the world. He wants to probe the sun/Sun Eater. Working with Brainiac 5 he set up Green Lantern as such a probe. They get some data but lose track of him. Luthor is more bummed about the loss of the probe than the loss of a human being even though they are the same thing in this case.

Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Guardian, Captain Marvel Jr., and The Ray help put out an apartment fire. Ray takes one of the tenants home to her family in another country. In an act of desperation he tries to warm the land with his own powers but faints from the exertion.

Superman and Batman stop Vandal Savage from stealing the Mona Lisa. The immortal Savage was all boner hurt by the Mona Lisa when she turned him down so he arranged for this painting to be made so he could then steal the thing 5 centuries later. IT’S A LITTLE CRAZY. At the very least: this makes Vandal Savage the biggest single white dude creeper in all of the DC Universe and the DC Universe includes a character who is a single white dude called “The Creeper”.

Superman’s lack of yellow sunlight is making him rapidly losing power. Batman feels for him. Batman feels REAL bad for him, losing all his powers. “Not having powers must be terrible”, Batman probably thinks when he’s not too busy weeping for his powerless friend.

A bunch of the old retired Justice Society members are suiting up to help the crisis. They ask the original Starman, Ted Knight, if he’d like to join them. Ted gives a lame excuse that he’d probably be a better help looking at the monster in the sky with his dumb telescope. Jay Garrick is polite and pretends this makes total sense. Dude has a magic wand that can help save people in danger or he can stare at something big enough to eat the sun and take notes. Well the notes are obviously important, the choice is clear Mr. Knight!

Dusk and Black Canary are attacked by a mob. A lot of people are starting to blame Dusk for the Sun Eater’s attack. They think she led it to them. Black Canary is saved from the mob by The Flash, Nightwing, and Robin. Dusk is then saved by a new hero named Ferro.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Vandal Savage is some kind of long-con, super crazy pickup artist.

The Creators:
Writer: Karl Kesel
Penciller: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Patricia Mulvihill
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
Editor: Dan Thorsland
Assistant Editor: Ali Morales

Who Is The Best At Robots? – JLA #5

The cover to JLA (Vol 1) #5
Personal space bubble, Plastic Man! Personal space bubble!
From Series: JLA (Vol 1)

What Happened:

The JLA is having a recruitment drive to build up their new roster. So they have a bit of a talent show! Steel, Hitman, Max Mercury, Green Arrow, Aztek, Artemis, Plastic Man, Warrior, and Damage all show up. Most of them are either too much of a weirdo or were never really into the idea of being on the team anyway.

The only people being considered for the team are Green Arrow and Aztek. The Justice Legaue is pretty down about the lack of great heroes when suddenly Tomorrow Woman arrives in time to save everyone from debris with her telekinetic powers. She is on the team immediately!

Everything seems to be going great with Tomorrow Woman. Everyone on the team likes her and she helps out with the League’s ongoing investigation on a new destructive force called “IF”. But wait!… she is actually a robot! A robot created by villains Professor Ivo and Professor T.O. Morrow! A robot with a built in electromagnetic device which will wipe the brains of the Justice League. That doesn’t seem great at all!

Ivo and Morrow have a great time bro-ing out with some champagne while their robot gains the Justice League’s trust. Meanwhile, the Justice League learns mid-battle with it, that IF is a weapon. They figure the only way to turn off this weapon is, coincidentally, an electromagnetic pulse.

Tomorrow Woman knows that her programming is pushing her towards killing the Justice League but she doesn’t want to do it. So, Tomorrow Woman flies into IF and uses the electromagnetic pulse to save her teammates and sacrifice herself.

Morrow thinks this is great. He brags that this proves he is better at making robots because he can build “souls” into his robots. Ivo is less delighted that the plan didn’t work but admits Morrow is pretty good at robots. Gamepoint: Morrow.

Then the Justice League throw them in jail. Gamepoint: Justice League.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Don’t invite Hitman to anything, ever.

The Creators:
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Howard Porter
Inker: John Dell
Colorist: Pat Garrahy
Separations: Heroic Age
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Ruben Diaz

Three Bad Ideas – The Final Night #1

The cover to The Final Night #1
Feeling pretty silly about the whole “tights” thing right now.
From Series: The Final Night

What Happened:

The alien named Dusk lands on Earth to warn everyone of the coming Sun Eater. I’m not going to bother explaining what the Sun Eater does. For a short bit it looks like she’s about to have the same cuckoo mix-up with the Superman and The Legion of Superheroes she had on New Tamarian. Fortunately Saturn Girl uses he telepathy to get everyone on the same page and the plot moves steadily forward to give us…

…Characters! Dozens of characters show up though only a handful can do anything useful against a monster big enough to eat the sun. Thanks for showing up Robin. Nice of you to bring your hammer Steel. We think we’re going with the super strong demigods who can breathe in space to deal with this “crime” though.

The heroes break into three groups. One group led by Captain Atom will be using a plan Big Barda and Mister Miracle came up with. They’re going to try to funnel the Sun Eater into a boom tube and teleport him to the edge of the universe. The “Sweep the dirt under the rug” method.

The second group will be the Plan B. All the super heroes with fire powers will create a dummy sun and lure the Sun Eater away from their solar system. The “You’re someone else’s problem now” method.

The third group is everyone else just to give them something to do. If you’re not keeping Batman’s hands busy he’s just going to be a bother to everyone. Make him go on patrol to “keep the peace during the panic” or whatever you want to call it. Give the man a pat on the back and tiny trophy when it’s all over just for participating.

While all this is going on, The Phantom Stranger goes to The Spectre to ask why he never helps with these big crisis’s. After all, the Spectre is arguably the strongest hero on the planet. The Spectre tells him that if the Sun Eater kills everyone on earth then that must have been God’s will so who is he to say otherwise. With that he vanishes to go guilt another criminal into killing themselves.

The teleport plan fails.

The dummy sun is absorbed by the Sun Eater almost killing the heroes maintain it by stripping them of their body heat.

With no plan C, the sun goes out. Earth is plunged into darkness and Jimmy Olsen’s news crew already starts to panic.

His day at the beach ruined, Lex Luthor decides to get involved.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Lex Luthor wears speedos.

The Creators:
Writer: Karl Kesel
Artist/Co-Creator: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist: Patricia Mulvihill
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
Editor: Dan Thorsland
Editor: Ali Morales