Tuesday, December 31, 2019

BONUS BOOK - Atari Force (1983)


BONUS BOOK - Atari Force, Code Name: Liberator (January, 1983)
"Liberator Mission: Freedom--or Death!"
Writer - Gerry Conway
Pencils - Ross Andru
Inks & Edits - Dick Giordano
Letters - John Costanza
Colors - Adrienne Roy

Hmm... we don't get much of a "cover" this time out... which is a tad bothersome... but, just in case it's not clear... today we're going to be closing out 2019 with the Insert Preview of Atari Force (Code Name: Liberator).

This was yet another preview to originate in the pages of New Teen Titans... however, since it was a licensed book (Atari being a registered whatchacallit of whoeverthehell), it actually shows up in two comics bearing the January, 1983 cover-date!

  • DC Comics Presents #53
  • New Teen Titans #27

There are gonna be a couple more Insert Previews that appear in more than one book that we'll be getting to over the next few days.  Believe it or not, we're already about halfway through 'em!  Perhaps even more than halfway through, since I just discovered I don't own 'em all!  We might need a Vartox-Week size miracle for me to track 'em down in time!  I guess time, and the next handfulla days, will tell!

Let's get to it!

--

Our story actually begins on the "cover" page (seen above)... where an Atari Force pilot named David is in the middle of a firefight with, uh... the bad guys.  He's on a comm-link sort of thing with a very blonde man named Martin who is trying to guide him through the process.  Unfortunately for big Dave, it looks like his story has already been written... and he is sploded into many many bits.  Ya know, at this point, I was sure this was going to be revealed as being a "VR Simulation".  Ya know, it's based off a video game, named after a video game system... stands to reason that this might just be more of that... but, No!  David's actually dead... dead-dead.  Martin laments the loss of his pal.


Ready for some table-setting exposition?  I sure hope so, cuz we're getting a big heaping dollop of it.  This story is occurring in the far-flung year of... 2005.  Wow, the future was such a long time ago!  We move into a conference room of sorts where we get the lay of the land.  The Atari Force is engaged in something called Mission: Liberator... and, as such are using a Star-Fighter called... the Liberator.  A handy screen shot shows us that this here Liberator really puts a lot of stock into... well, fuel, from the looks of it.


The bad guys are revealed as being aliens called the Malaglow.  Wow, try saying that three times fast.  Looks like the baddies have taken over many planets and enslaved many'a people... and it's up to the Atari Force to end their reign of terror.


Martin reveals that their next mission volunteer will be drawn from a lottery of sorts... and a fishbowl full'a poker chips begins to levitate.  From the bowl, Marty picks a chip... and we learn that the Liberator will be piloted by Bob Marcus, who just so happens to be the brother of dead-David!  He is more than a little bit jazzed to get the opportunity to get his pound of flesh outta the green guys!


And so, next thing we know Bob's about to take off.  He decides to leave before getting all of his instructions... realizing full-well that this might just be a suicide mission!  Looks like he's not exactly planning to walk away from this one...


From here, we jump to Malaglow territory, and the Liberator releases a trio of remote drones to ward off the "welcoming committee".  Whattayaknow, Bob's able to take 'em down with ease!


Next stop, a Malaglow Slave Planet... which just so happens to be launching missiles!  Hmm, that's somewhat familiar... it's almost like their Defense is Missiles!  Bob maneuvers around the onslaught and knocks the artillery out of the sky.


In freeing the slaves... well, I guess they're free... the Malaglow realizes the Ataris aren't screwing around... and so, they launch a massive saucer-craft.  For all the pomp and circumstance of its introduction, Bob takes it out in like two panels.


Back on Earth, Martin and Company have received a delayed transmission from the Liberator... so, they have a pretty good idea that Bob is still alive... or at least, he was... somewhat recently.  The message is optimistic that the worst is behind them... which, we in the biz call "famous last words".  Not sure why we needed a full page to recap the last half-dozen, but... whattayagonnado?


Back to Bob, who's still blowin' stuff up in space.  He approaches the Malaglow Master Base... however, any time he fires at it, the planet appears to change rotation.  Not sure how helpful a defensive tactic this is... but, it's really got ol' Bob thrown for a loop.


We get two more pages of Bob trying to figure out this riddle... it doesn't matter where he blasts the planet... the darn thing just keeps a'spinnin'.  Ultimately, our man realizes that... hey, I've got more than one laser on this rig... and so, he fires at two different locations on the planet.


This does the trick, halts the frog-faced Malaglow's celebration... and frees the slaves?  I mean, there's a prrrretty big explosion here, not sure how any of the slaves survived it!


We wrap up with Bob Marcus reporting his successful mission into the Atari Force... and preparing to leave a newly-liberated planet.  Our "next issue" blurb doesn't promote the ongoing Atari Force series... but the trio of mini-comics that came packed with assorted Atari 2600 games.


--

Just like I said during our recent Captain Carrot discussion, I feel, as a self-proclaimed fake-ass comics historian that I ought to have more of an affinity for Atari Force.  I mean, I love comics and I love video games... so, it stands to reason that I'd love this, right?

Well, truth be told, I've tried covering Atari Force here at the blog before... and have never been able to get through the first issue!  I didn't think it was bad or anything, I just couldn't connect to it.  One of my (very) few rules about "content creation" (that I wish other content creators would also adhere to) is that the person creating said content must be passionate about what they're talking about... at least a little bit.  I wasn't, so I didn't.

I almost got excited enough to "press through" about a year and a half ago, when I had been given access to the back-room of a local comic shop.  While back there, I found a bunch of stuff that the casual comic shop patron wouldn't care less about... old fanzine stuff, catalogs, retailer-exclusive magazines from the 80's and 90's... and, as luck would have it... one of the Atari Force mini-comics that had been packed in with a 2600 game!  I snagged it (for a buck) and figured it might be a neat thing to include on the blog.

Then, I tried reading it... and, man... again, I just couldn't get into it.  Rather than do the book and its fandom a disservice, I decided just to file it away.  Asamattafact, I filed it away so well... I couldn't even tell ya what room in my house it's currently in!  Oh well.  I guess I won't be including a picture of it here today!

So, with all'a my nonsense out of the way... what'd I think of this story?  Well, it wasn't bad... but, again, I didn't feel any stakes or investment in the characters.  I will say that I was about 95% sure that Bob Marcus was going to bite it in the end... so, his survival was a bit of a surprise.  Art was solid... dialogue was decent... really, just another inoffensive insert!  If you're a fan of the Atari Force concept, well, this is where it all began!

With that, I wanna wish everyone a Safe and Happy New Year's Eve!  Be careful out there... and I'll see ya next year (don'tcha just hate when people say that?)!

Monday, December 30, 2019

BONUS BOOK - Night Force (1982)


BONUS BOOK - Night Force (July, 1982)
"The Night Force"
Writer - Marv Wolfman
Pencils - Gene Colan
Inks - Bob Smith
Letters - John Costanza
Colors - Michele Wolfman
Editor - Ross Andru

Another day, another Insert Prevue from the pages of New Teen Titans... I think, counting Masters of the Universe, this makes three... with more to come!  One thing's different here though, in that not only does this appear in an issue of New Teen Titans... it's also written by the very same fella who gave us New Teen Titans!

For today we're taking a look at Marv Wolfman reuniting with his Tomb of Dracula partner Gene Colan to create a sorta-kinda horror title in Night Force!

Now, it's been ages since I've read any actual Night Force comics... and my most recent exposure to the concept was, err, not the best.  It was the 2018-2019 Raven: Daughter of Darkness maxi-series that attempted to reimagine the Night Force as a team of teen-age mystics and whatnot... and it was even worse than it sounds.  With a teen-age cast came Marv Wolfman's need to... err, engage in "teenspeak"... Baron Winters even makes a "swipe left" reference.  It was cringy as hell.  Even Winters' Cat Merlin utters out some unironic and sassy "Grrrrrrll"s.  I reviewed every issue of the thing for the folks over at Weird Science DC Comics if you're interested in going along for that ride.

I covered the first issue of Night Force here at the blog nearly four years ago... and I'm pretty sure I didn't even realize at the time that a "Prevue" proceeded it.  To me, that's a good thing.  I don't think people who buy a #1 issue should be punished because they didn't do their due-diligence in buying some other title altogether to be introduced to the concept.  As we will soon find out, this Insert Preview does add to the lore, but it is by no means required to understand the events of the first issue.

Let's get to it...

--


We open "somewhen" where Baron Winters is taking in a jousting tournament hosted by a Lord Bedford in his honor.  Apparently, Winters was vital in saving the Lord's people.  He also bought some at-the-time worthless London real estate... knowing full-well that it would appreciate in some six hundred years.  After the event, Winters walks through a door... and winds up back at his palatial mansion, where his jolly mood is interrupted by the ringing of a phone.  On the other end, a man named Jack Gold... with whom the Baron has an interview the following day.  Worth noting, Winters already knew it would be Gold on the line.


Now, just who is this Jack Gold?  Well, we soon learn he is a tabloid news reporter who somehow talked his way into getting a look at some Top Secret Pentagon files on "Psychic Phenomena".  Jack's... well, kind of a jerk to the Major showing him around... and isn't all that keen on being given access to only a single file.


As luck would have it, the Major gets called away.  Despite not liking or trusting Jack... he, get this, leaves him alone in the file room!  Unsurprisingly, Jack takes this opportunity to dig a bit deeper in the drawers... and happens across a file labeled PROJECT SATAN, written by a Georgetown Professor named Donovan Caine.


Major Whatshisface pops back in, and catches Gold in the act.  He has his assistant escort the reporter out... and also tells her to make sure he never returns.  She makes a phone call... to a shadowy individual.


She then catches up with Jack to apologize for the Major's brusqueness and offer to take him out for a cup of coffee so they can talk.  He takes her up on the offer, but doesn't care to stick around all that long.  After the cuppa, Jack heads into the garage to procure his rental car... only to find that a security guard appeared to be paying special attention to it.  Writing it off as paranoia, Jack hops in and takes off.


Only... he doesn't get very far.  The ol' hooptie is rattling like mad and spewing exhaust like it's going out of style.  He pulls into a gas station and asks the Attendant to take a look at it while he makes a phone call to his ex-wife.  Well, the Attendant shifts the gears a few times, and... boom.


Back at Wintersgate, the Baron is talking to his sassy cat about his latest recruits... not only is Jack vital to his plans, but that very same Donovan Caine also factors in!  Speaking of Professor Don, he's currently guiding a class through a... Satanic Baptism?  Okey doke.  His students strip off their clothes and join hands while he babbles about somethin' or 'nother.  Before long, the entire place is bathed in flame.


The students are, well more than a bit freaked out, and nearly trample one another to get out.  Caine manages to calm them all down by suggesting that this was all a good sign... a sign that they're "narrowing in on their target", whatever that means.  During a subsequent five-minute break, one of the students heads into the hallway to make a phone call... to, perhaps that same shadowy individual.


We jump back to the Baron as he's informing sassy cat about the final (at this point) recruit... a young woman named Vanessa Van Helsing.  A woman tortured by visions and whatnot, currently being held at in one of Potomac Psychiatric Hospital's finest padded rooms.


Van Helsing starts throwing a fit, prompting some orderlies to bust in and try to calm her down  She's thrashing all about as a Dr. Rabin enters the scene, resigned to the fact that there's only ever been one treatment for this behavior... and it involves a visit to Wintersgate.


And so, that's exactly where they go.  Rabin and Winters exchange some unkind words, with the former insisting that the latter only provides a "placebo cure"... which, c'mon, any old port in a storm, right?  If it works, it works.  Before we know it, Winters has Vanessa back to "normal" so she can be taken back to the Hospital.  He promises that he will be able to help her in a more permanent way once she turns 21.


We wrap up with the Baron retiring for the evening, realizing that tomorrow is going to be quite a busy day indeed.


--

I'm not sure what it was, but I came into this completely prepared to crap all over it.  If I were to guess, it's probably residual disappointment stemming from that Raven: Daughter of Darkness garbage-fire.  I was half expecting the Baron to bust out with a "Talk to the Hand" or "Cash me outside" or something here.  He (and his cat) was just so damn sassy in that cringy maxi-series!

What we get here, however, is... really good stuff!  I'm not even a fella who considers himself a fan of horror comics, and I found myself highly entertained and intrigued by this short offering.  On that subject, has anyone reading this ever read a horror comic that actually scared them?  I know I haven't... but, I'd love to if anyone has any recommendations!

Baron Winters comes across here as quite the enigma.  We can't tell at first blush whether or not we ought to be rooting for him.  In fact, if not for the cover-copy (which reads: "To Save Mankind...") we might assume we're actually reading about a super-villain!  I like just how much of the Night Force "lore" is included right off the bat.  Things like Wintersgate Mansion being something of a dimensional hub is established in the very first page.  Not only is that highly interesting, it also subverts our expectations going forward.  I mean, the "cover" and opening scene take place in Medieval England... then suddenly, in passing through an ordinary door, we're in current day!  It really illustrates the amount of possibilities that can be explored in this series... and it's a lot of fun.

We're not-quite introduced to the anti-Winters (if that's in fact who the shadowy fella getting the phone calls winds up being, I can't for the life of me remember who that is... it might just be the Baron himself playing both sides!).  I dig the level of urgency that threat brought to the story... and the confirmation that there is actually something sinister going on that needs to be uncovered and dealt with.

Really, I just don't have enough good things to say about this one.  From story, to characters, to... good lord, the art... this was a really well put together piece... and to think, we got it for free between the pages of another awesome story appearing in New Teen Titans #21 (July, 1982).  It was a good time to be a fan of DC Comics.

--

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Sunday, December 29, 2019

BONUS BOOK - Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! (1982)


BONUS BOOK - Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew (February, 1982)
"This Bunny Unbound!"
Writers - Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway
Pencils - Scott Shaw! & Ross Andru
Inks - Bob Smith
Letters - Gaspar
Colors - Adrienne Roy
Editor - Len Wein

Man, it's no joke that New Teen Titans was kind of the "straw that stirred the drink" for DC Comics back in the early/mid-80's... we're about to cover a handful of Insert Previews/Bonus Books that first appeared in issues of that particular mag!

We begin with a look at the... I dunno, "re-imagining" of the Funny Animal genre?  A blend of the Funny Animal and the Superhero... it's Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! (though, the Crew doesn't really play much of a factor in the story we're about to look at).  This preview first appeared in New Teen Titans #16 (February, 1982)... which is pretty early in the run.  It's cool when we realize that the New Teen Titans concept itself kicked off the Insert Previews of the era... and is now being used as a launchpad for new and revitalized IPs!

Let's get to it!

--


Our story opens in Metropolis, where Clark Kent is delivering the WGBS evening news broadcast.  Top story of the day is people, ordinary humans, are going from acting completely normal one moment... to wild apes the next!  After the report, Clark heads off to investigate the situation in his "work clothes".  He spies a fella who was in the middle of crossing the street... when he is suddenly bathed in a glowing light, and reverted to ape-behavior!


After wrangling the man-ape, Superman decides to head into the altitude and see if he can track down the source of that light-beam... which he feels came from, of all places, Pluto.  What he discovers is that the Earth is surrounded by a sort of energy barrier... which, somehow, a glowing meteorite is able to effortlessly pass through.  Our man grabs hold.


The thing goes boom... shattering into a half-dozen pieces.  The flash of light from the blast manages to temporarily blind Superman as he plummets back toward... the Earth?


Flyin' blind, Superman attempts to find his way back to the Daily Planet Building.  Once inside, he finds it curious that his head keeps hitting the ceiling.  Oh well, looks like Superman's become a giant again!  As he laments in the panel, it wouldn't be the first time!  He changes back into his Clark Kents before anyone might see him, and goes to sit down at his desk... 


... Only, it ain't his desk!  It's the workstation of Roger Rabbit (not that Roger Rabbit), the creator and artist of the Just'a Lotta Animals comic book series!  As you might imagine, the bunny is pretty freaked out at the giant pink monster who just tried to sit on him.


Clark gets his bearings and tries to reconcile just where he might've wound up.  It's clearly not the same Earth he'd woken up on that morning, that's for sure.  Turns out, he's not at the Daily Planet, but inside the building of Wombat Communications.  Perhaps a play on DC's parent company Warner Communications?  Anyhoo, we (and he) can see that the entire world is comprised of anthropomorphic animals.  The most interesting part of this page to me is a newspaper that mentions a Prez... which, makes me hope they're talking about that Prez.  As Clark and Roger try and figure things out, the latter heads over to his window box to start chowin' down on some carrots.


Roger tells Clark that they're having similar evolutionary problems on his Earth... ordinary anthropomorphized animals are his with a beam... and start acting the way they "used to"... kinda like the humans on Earth-1 acting like apes, ya dig?


It's probably worth noting that the carrot Roger is eating is... glowing.  Superman notices this fact, and uses his x-ray vision to get a better look at the window box.  It would appear that a rogue chunk of that meteorite landed there!  He swats the carrot away...


... which causes (a now-glowing) Roger to recoil and punch the Man of Steel through several walls of the building!


After apologies are exchanged, Superman vows to get a better understanding of everything that's going on.  Meanwhile, Roger realizes that not only is he super-strong... he's also got super-hearing, and... well, super-everything.  Once Superman's gone, Roger heads back into his office to try on an old superhero Halloween costume.


Before long, he's already caught up to Superman... who, is pretty shocked to see puny Roger all buffed up.  Also, flying!  Well, okay... not actually flying, he's got more of a "Hop, Skip, and Jump" trajectory.


Together, they head to the U.N. Building (that is, United Nature)... where all of the anthro-aminals have "reverted to type"... which is to say, they're acting like, ya know... amin... err, animals.


Roger proclaims himself to be "Captain Carrot", and the pair'a heroes get busy saving the animals from themselves.  When the dust settles, a bevy of television monitors around the U.N. podium begin to light up... it would appear that there were five other Funny Animals affected by those rogue meteorite shards, and given powers beyond anyone's wildest imagination!  There's our Zoo Crew!


The story ends with Superman revealing that all of their problems have originated on Pluto... and Captain Carrot following him to their next adventure (which we've already discussed here... ages ago!)


--

Ya know, as a self-proclaimed fake-ass comics historian, I've always felt like I should like Captain Carrot a whole lot more than I actually do.  I mean, it's fun enough... I just can't help but to feel that it falls just short of actually being interesting.  It kinda gets tackled on the one-yard line for me, ya know?  Almost there, but not quite.

What we get here, however, is probably my... I dunno "favorite" Captain Carrot story?  Probably... well, almost certainly, due to the Superman bits... and it's actual connectivity to DC Universe lore.  I thought having two different artists for the two different characters was an awesome touch to boot!  It gave the story a very... uh, Roger Rabbit (that Roger Rabbit) look and feel.

As for the story... well, it's light and fun.  Nothing offensive, though I suppose your evolutionary mileage may vary?  In revisiting plenty of these Insert Previews (or Prevues), it's pretty eye-opening seeing how many have Roy Thomas' name attached.  He was new to DC at this point, and it looks like they were rolling out the red carpet for him... just letting him explore different concepts and genres, and carving out his own corner of the universe.  As much as I kinda get the dry-heaves over just giving a newcomer carte blanche, especially in the "nowadays"... at least back then, the stuff that Thomas was doing didn't usurp the entire direction of the company!

This was decent enough... and, worth checking out.  If you're a Captain Carrot fan, you're going to really dig this.  If you're not... well, there's still a Superman story here to enjoy!  And heck if we're being technical, an entire issue of New Teen Titans sandwiching it!  This story is included in the SHOWCASE Presents: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! volume.

--

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Saturday, December 28, 2019

BONUS BOOK - Wonder Woman (1982)


BONUS BOOK - Wonder Woman (February, 1982)
"New Wonder Woman Preview"
Writer - Roy Thomas
Pencils - Gene Colan
Inks - Romeo Tanghal
Letters - John Costanza
Colors - Adrienne Roy
Editor - Len Wein

And now for an Insert Preview (or "Prevue" as the cover page puts it) that I've never bothered to read before.  It's features like this that remind me what an "embarrassment of riches" we fans have these days when it comes to options and reading material.  In my younger days, where I'd only be able to buy like one comic book a week, I'd have absolutely loved any extra content I'd get... be it a letters page, a back-up story... or a free "Prevue", I'd be so appreciative... and would just devour all of the content.

These days though?  There are just too many options out there... too many readable-pages competing for my attention.  I can be choosier... and even go as far as to dismiss or ignore things that, at a glance, won't interest me.  That's this NEW Wonder Woman feature in a nutshell... something that, upon first look, was boring... starring a character, who I also feel is quite boring.  Just never felt like it was worth my time.

I guess that's what this little BONUS BOOK project is all about!  Broadening my horizons by actually reading some long-ignored part of my comics library... and hopefully finding something worth checking out and sharing!

This Wonder Woman story was included in DC Comics Presents #41 (January, 1982)... though, you might've noticed (but probably not) that the insert feature itself bears a "Feb" cover-date.  As for the DCCP ish, this insert interrupts a... rather lackluster team-up between Superman and the Joker.  Maybe we'll discuss that sometime... or not.

--


Our story opens in Washington, D.C. where Colonel Steve Trevor and Captain Diana Prince are en route to a rendezvous point to drop off a locked briefcase.  Unfortunately for them, it looks like this clandestine meeting might just have been a set-up!  They are approached by a pair of gun-toting spies!  Trevor tosses the suitcase to Diana and instructs her to take off running with it.  As she is his subordinate (least I think she's supposed to be), she does as she's told... running down an alley to protect the loot while he fights off Boris and... Boris?


In the alley, Diana socks the briefcase away in a garbage can and changes into Wonder Woman... who, isn't obliged to obey the Colonel's orders.


Wonder Woman bursts through a wall as though she was Kool-Aid Man, and proceeds to engage in some bullets-and-bracelets before beating up the bad guys.


In the interim, Boris and Boris's buddies have stowed Steve Trevor in the back of their town car... and are attempting to get away.  Wondy ain't about to sweat these fools... and makes pretty short work of them.  The geeks are kayoed, Steve Trevor is saved, and a pair of onlookers appear to be extremely excited to be in the presence of their hero.


As Steve is loaded into an ambulance (and Wonder Woman pretends not to be too worried about him), that pair of groupies decides to approach her.  Ya see, they represent the Wonder Woman Foundation... a non-profit outfit that has been promised full financial backing... from somewhere... to promote Equality for all Women.  They'd like for Wonder Woman to kind of be their public face... which, ya know, stands to reason if the foundation is named after her.  Also, they want her to change her outfit... ditching her old halter to one with "W's" on it.


Wonder Woman takes a moment to ponder this... and decides that, before agreeing to anything, she ought to talk it over with her mother.  And so, she boards her invisible robot plane and heads Paradise Island way.


Upon arriving back home, she finds that the Amazons are a bit subdued.  Getting a closer look, she learns they're not only "subdued"... but bound and shackled!  Turns out they'd been visited by Hercules and Hermes... two grade-a a-holes!  They've stolen Hippolyta's Magic Belt of Strength, and have more or less taken over the place!


Diana decides to challenge Hermes to a race... for the Magic Belt of Strength.  Ol' Hermes ain't one to look like a chicken, and so... he agrees.  He hurls the Belt into the distance and he and Wonder Woman race to procure it.  Wonder Woman wins.


This only leaves Hercules to deal with... and so, Diana challenges him to a test of strength.  Which, after a whole lot of Roy Thomas banter and captions... she wins!


After the dust settles, and the Olympians vamoose back from whence they came, Diana chats up her mother regarding the new halter.  Hippolyta encourages her to wear the new one... and represent women everywhere (which I thought she already did anyway...).


We wrap up with the new-look Diana hopping back on her invisible robot plane to head back to the States to check on Steve... and the realization that, uh-oh... Steve Trevor is... dying!


--

I suppose I ought to admit right off the bat that I never realized that Wonder Woman's costume didn't always have "W's" on it!  I'm not sure quite how to describe that old design... but, when the groupies handed her the halter with the W's... I didn't really see what the big deal was!  In flipping back a few pages, I was able to realize that... yeah, it's different.  I didn't get to appreciate the importance of this... or, how... I dunno... "landmarky" this change might've been though.

I get that there's symbolism... but, drawing so fine a line under the W's representing Women Everywhere kind of lessens the importance of everything she'd done while wearing her old costume.  I mean, are we supposed to believe that Wonder Woman only started representing Women after she wore a shirt with a "W" on it?  I dunno... I'm probably thinking about it too hard... and through a scarily less-subtle 2019-2020 lens, where everything needs to be completely spelled out for us.  Otherwise, how would we ever know how morally superior the writer feels they are?

Speaking of "current year" lamentations... it's so darned refreshing to see a story where a character gets a new direction/new look/new creative team... and not a shiny new #1 issue to go along with it!

As for the story itself... ya know, it wasn't half bad!  I was expecting this portion of today's piece to be full of yawns... but, I kind of dug it!  Well, the first half anyway.  I'm not sure there's a writer who's ever walked the Earth who can make a Paradise Island story "work" for me.  I even resort to skimming those early issues of New Teen Titans that occur there!

The first half of the story though?  Top notch superheroics... building tension, leaving some questions unanswered, just all around good stuff.  The second-half... ehh, it was perhaps a, for lack of a better term, "necessary evil".  We needed Diana to chat with Hippolyta... and since this isn't a "current year" comic, we weren't about to get 16 pages of identical photostatted "talking heads".  Gotta appreciate the effort here of actually delivering a bit of action, regardless of how uninspired I might've found it!

Overall... a good outing, and a story I'm happy I finally got around to reading!

--

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