Justice League: Gods and Monsters [Blu-ray]
In an alternative history Zod is Superman's father, Batman is a vampiric Man-Bat, and Wonder Woman is the child of Ares, God of War. When these dark heroes form an alliance, the question everyone asks is will they save the world, or rule it?
Also available on DVD.
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Cover date: March 2012
"Over Before It's Begun"
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciller: Brett Booth
Inker: Norman Rapmund
Reviewed by: Shawn Morrissey
Nearby, hiding out in a mobile facility disguised as a potato chip delivery truck, a team of N.O.W.H.E.R.E.'s goons keeps an eye on the action. They suffer a couple scares as the Teen Titans manage to get in a few digs on their golden boy, but Templar eases the tension, maintaining the focus of this particular mission - to capture Wonder Girl.
The fight carries on, and by issue's end, each Titan is down for the count and Superboy has gone rogue, leaving N.O.W.H.E.R.E. without their ace.
Story - 2: If you like aimless, poorly crafted action, matter-of-fact dialogue, and conclusions foreseeable in previous issues, then you may be able to sink your teeth into Teen Titans #5. Now, I love me some action and I don't mind if a comic book has mostly fisticuffs and little else, but it still needs to be wrapped in a tight bundle of apt storytelling and meaningful progress. Unfortunately, in this issue, that sock to the jaw feels neither well placed nor poignant.
The biggest problem I have with the action here is the lack of teamwork. It was like watching an old kung fu movie where a group of henchmen takes on the hero one at a time. Why not just pound on the guy all at once? The difference is The Big Boss is excellent fun, and this issue of the Teen Titans is mostly a snoozefest. I suppose it could be argued that the absence of teamwork can be attributed to the callowness of our heroes, but this doesn't sit well when we look back and see how fine a young leader Tim Drake has been in previous issues. He doesn't do much as the captain here other than posture. On a related note, the mistakes made by a couple of the Titans feel genuine. They are just kids so it's a good idea to have them mess things up now and then.
Another problem I had with this issue is the dialogue. While it's been bit of a constant complaint for me, this issue seemed to tack on the speech bubbles with little concern or care. Nothing being said is interesting or even witty and it makes the action seem all the more lackluster.
A final complaint: pacing. This title is suffering from horrible pacing. This confrontation with Superboy should have played out by issue 3. Now, five months in and we're none the wiser on two intriguing mysteries from past issues - the mind-controlling scrapheap android, and how Kid Flash and Solstice ended up in New York from the Antarctic.
On a positive note, I like this Superboy. His powers are immense and I like the fact that he must keep focused in order to maintain them. This weakness allowed for an interesting confrontation with Red Robin in this issue, and it has potential to be expanded upon in the future.
Art - 3: Booth's pencils made a bit of a come back this issue. He can draw action well, and his work is still highlighted by Rapmund's inks and Dalhouse's colors. Nonetheless, Booth is only shadowing the great work he did in the first two issues.
Cover Art - 3: This is a decent enough cover. It isn't great, it isn't terrible. There's a flair to it that's attractive and it represents a definitive scene from the story.
Variant Cover Art - 4: The variant is a black and white version done in a style that is popping up for various titles in the New 52. I'm really liking these variants overall and think this particular cover looks great in the alternative style.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2012.