Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Games: The Last of the DC Universe

Today Pierre gives his review of the New Teen Titans Graphic Novel: Games

As the NEW DCnU started, I came to realise that we had not seen the LAST of the DCU yet. That there was still ONE DCU comic left. The NEW Teen Titans: Games Original Graphic Novel.

It was one of those happy accidents that are not really planned as such, but somehow that is how it happened. Games ended up being the very LAST comic set in the DCU (before Flashpoint).

I first became a fan of the New Teen Titans in 1984 when I bought the first issue of the series. It seems that the series in French was about 4 years behind the American version of the series. And I LOVED every seconds spent reading that first issue. Actually it was the first 2 issues since in French, the series was bi-monthly and we had 2 stories per issue.

Damn how that was good.

I loved all of the Titans characters. Other than Robin and Kid Flash, all the characters were new to me, but all of them were strong characters. There was no weak character in the bunch. So no wonder it was such a hit. Everything about that book was very strong. Although later I was not crazy about Wonder Girl becoming Troia, or the addition of Jericho or Danny Chase, it did not change the fact that the first 50 issues of the New Teen titans were one of the strongest run in DC history.

So like many others, I was thrilled to learn that there was still one hidden gem by Wolfman and Perez that we had not seen before. And although it got a few false starts, The NEW Teen Titans; Games OGN is finally here. And it is all kinds of AWESOME!!!

Heck even seeing Troia, Jericho and Danny Chase once more was fun, despite the fact that I never really cared for them. So can you imagine how FUN!!! It was to see the characters that I loved like Nightwing, Starfire, Cyborg, Changeling, Raven and Donna Troy (yes I count her separately then Troia)??

It is difficult to describe the joy I felt to see those characters once more. It was not unlike when I read Formerly Known as Justice League, or more recently the Retroactive Justice League of America. It was like seeing old, dear friends that I had not seen for years.

It was so good, so sweet that words fail me (what can I say, I am not a word guy, that’s Jim’s job.  ;) ).

“Sweet” might be the wrong word, “Bittersweet” is actually more like it since as you read the tale in Games, you cannot help but think that this is IT! This is the last time that you not only read about those characters, but this is the very LAST time that you read a tale set in the DCU. This IS the end of the DCU. So even small moments like seeing Roy Harper as Speedy or Wally West as the Flash were charged with emotions that was not originally intended when this tale was first conceived. 

Was this book perfect?? No. Not even close.

The story was a bit of a mess. Heck I thought I had a copy where the pages were out of order since the story is all over the place. And once you read the behind the scene stuff, you quickly realise why. Wolfman and Perez did not have a clear idea themselves where they were going when they first started that tale. Perez started drawing the book when they did not even have finalised every point of their tale

And they later tried to fix the story multiple times, while trying to use as much of the artwork that George had already done. So it did create some confusion that is obvious while reading the story.

And the villains are pretty forgettable. And again, once you read the tale, you realise why. They needed villains that would appear in that story only. What you could call “one shot” villains, or disposable villains if you wish. So they created a bunch of villains that they needed to tell their story that we never saw before, and that would be dead by the end of the story. So they did not waste too much time creating the most awesome villains of the universe. They just created villains that would serve the story they wanted to tell.

And I am sure that many will poke fun at Nightwing with his “disco” collar (although I like that design myself).

And despite all those flaws, that comic stand above pretty much any comic on the stand right now. The artwork by Perez alone is worth the price of admission, but even with its flaws, the story is a fun and intriguing story.

And somehow, There seems to be little buzz online for that comic. I barely saw a few reviews, and did not see any reviews from some of the comic sites like ComicsBulletin or Newsarama. Heck even the DC message boards barely has a few comments for this comic.

Did it get lost/ignored amidst all that 52 craziness?? It breaks my little heart. If you are a Titan fan, or if you are a fan of good comics with strong storytelling, you must get yourself a copy of this comic. So unless DC decided to publish any more of their Retroactive comics, this is IT. This is the last DCU comics EVER.

Farewell DCU, We will miss you.  :(

- Pierre


JimShelley said...

I will bet you the cost of a new Graphic Novel that this will not be the last DCU story. Remember, James Robinson's The Golden Age came out decades after the last Golden Age story, but it's still a Golden Age story. ;)

Nice Review Pierre! I really liked this graphic novel too. It was quite the trip back in time! My only quibble though, like you, I felt the story was a little awkward at times. I really didn't like the villains.

cash_gorman said...

I looked at in the store. Saw it made King Faraday a bad guy. Couple that with it going with a time the Titans were hardly looking their best (Gar's mullet, Donna Troy as Troia, Raven in white, Danny and Jericho), left it there.

JimShelley said...

Yeah, the King Faraday character twist didnt sit well with me either.

MattComix said...

I admit most of my idea of who Faraday is comes from reading New Frontier where he's played as a bit of an antagonist at first but then is slowly challenged and turned around by J'Onn J'Onzz. So it was kind of weird seeing him just be total wackjob crazy in this.

and yeah, Gar's mullet is a rather unfortunate distribution of party and business.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

First anyone who say a BAD word about this comic is BANNED for life!! Forever. ;)

Jim; the past tells us about the future.

After CoIE.... How many times did DC publish a comic happening on Earth 2??

Yes it did happen... but very few... and very far between.

Right now all I can recall is a JSA annual where Power Girl is back on Earth 2.

So yes.... it might happen at some point.... but if it is like the comics that brought us back to Earth 2... it will be just a handfull of comics in the next 25 years. :(

So it might as well be the last time we see the DCU.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Cash; Like you I mostly remember King Faraday from the New Frontier comic.

Yes I am sure that I saw him before... but right now all I can recall is his appearance in New Frontier.

But I did not mind the twist. Despite the fact that it was pretty obvious form the start that there was something fishy between Farraday and the Gamemaster... it was not difficult to guess the supposed twist fairly quickly.

But despite that.... I was intrigued by the tale... and I likes how Faraday used diversions to get the Titans away from the tower to use it against them.

Now THAT was more the twist then the reveal of Faraday being the villain.

So I did not mind Faraday being the villain... and heck... they would brainwash him into being his old self by the end of the comic.

I would have loved to see the aftermath of that tale.

How would have the Titans handled meeting Faraday the next time they would meet??

Ahhh the possibilities... ;)

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Arrgghh! I mixed up Mat and Cash... sorry guys. ;)

But my comment still stand.

As for Gar and the mullet?? I did not mind it.

Heck I would take Garfield and his mullet over the New Wonder Woman, or any of the New Teen Titans, or heck.... the New Cyborg any day.


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