by Michael Vance & Dr. Jon Suter
August 11, 1999
Reviews in this issue:
The Titans - The Kingdom
One of the
interesting comic hook events of 1999 has been the latest revival by DC Comics
of the group once known as The Teen Titans and now called The Titans.
I had no
respect for the earliest stories. The plots were infantile and the art was
unsatisfactory; however the first series lasted long enough to prove that DC had
found an audience.
The two later
versions of the team enjoyed drastic improvements in stories and art but
foundered. The fourth version seems to he off to a good start.
The new team is
in a three-issue series entitled JLA/Titans in which the Justice League
of America is drawn into conflict with almost every character affiliated with
The script by
Davin Grayson and Phil Jiminez starts off strongly but seems to weaken. Jiminez
is also responsible for the art. At his best, he is comparable to artist George
Perez but faces are often too cartoonish.
That series was
a lead-in to a new continuing series for the Titans. The first six issues have
been good. Grayson's Scripts are excellent, but the art has been passed around.
Mark Buckingham, the current artist, does well, but I still have problems with
his faces and anatomy.
If I sound too
negative about the art let me emphasize that it is far superior to the earliest
stories. Nick Cardy was popular for reasons I could never grasp. Two examples of
his art can be found in a Teen Titans Annual that reprints five stories
from 1964-66. The other three stories demonstrated the inanity of many DC titles
in that era. Even after 35 years, this is embarrassingly bad material.
other items worth noting: issue 18 of Legends of the DC Universe explains
some obscure points about the origin of the second group of Titans while Titans:
Secret Files and Origin, fills in some gaps between JLA/Titans and
the first issue of the new series. Get this and forget the Annual.
by Dr. Jon Suter
1996, DC Comics published a major mini-series, four issues of Kingdom Come.
The story was set in a future where Superman's withdrawal from human affairs
because of personal grief led to dire consequences.
late 1997, DC issued a single issue of Gog, which implied that more
Kingdom stories were forthcoming. Now DC has issued a two issue sequel entitled The
Kingdom. It helps to be familiar with the original, but new readers will
catch on quickly.
Waid continues as scripter, but Ales Ross, the original artist, is absent. Ariel
Olivetti has drawn the first issue. Mike Zeck, the second. Olivetti's work is
competent, but Zeck's is less pleasing. In some panels, his art distracts from
The Kingdom are five issues based on the involvement of the children of
DC's current heroes. Some appeared in Kingdom Come. All are written by
Waid, but each has a different artist. All of them are better than Zeck.
Plash" is the daughter of Wally West, the current Flash. Mark Pajarillo is
the artist. "Nightstar" is the daughter of Dick "Nightwing"
Grayson and alien princess Starfire. Matt Haley's work is excellent, as is Brian
Apthorp's in "Son of the Bat". This hero is the son of Batman and
Thalia, daughter of one of Batman's greatest enemies. The parents are not
thrilled with the romance.
most humorous issue is "Offspring". Frank Quigley's art is a good
blend of humor and heroics. The hero is the son of Plastic Man.
fifth issue is set in the modern era. "Planet Krypton" chronicles the
story of a young waitress in a super hero theme restaurant haunted by the ghosts
of dead or vanished DC heroes. Barry Kitson's art is the best of the five
fans will enjoy identifying the "ghosts". They and fans of DC's
Elseworld stories will relish the climax of The Kingdom.
Waid and Kitson A's, and hope for better art in future Kingdom stories.
by Dr. Jon Suter
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