Teen Titans 23.1: Trigon

trigon 23.1

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Teen Titans 23.1: Trigon, originally released September 11th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

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Shelby: Demons, am I right? They are pretty much the most concentrated form of evil out there, short of Satan himself. There are a few demons floating around the DCU, so it’s no surprise one of them would get an issue this month. The only thing I knew about Trigon going into this issue was that he fathered Raven, and I was intrigued by what his origin would be. Would he be something along the Christian lines of Hell and minions of Satan, or would it be a more galactic demonic force sort of situation? Whatever it was, I knew it would be unsavory, in a dark magic sort of way, which is usually right up my alley. Unfortunately, I was not prepared for just how unsavory it would turn out to be.
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Teen Titans 16

teen titans 16 DoF

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Teen Titans 16, originally released January 30th, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

Shelby: What is the point of being a villain? Some do it out of greed, like the Penguin, others for a cause, like Poison Ivy. Then there’s the Joker, who’s just a psychopath. The source of his villainy is insanity; he is chaos incarnate. You’d think that would make it easier for writers to use the Joker in their stories. Just think of the craziest, most out there plan, add some gratuitous murder and cruelty, and you’re done, right? Wrong-o. The Joker is chaos, but he’s directed chaos. He has an end point in mind, there is a “reason for his madness.” Batgirl  plays with the core idea that the Joker’s latest spree is based on love with a twisted wedding. Batman and Robin also ties back to love, either the love of Robin for Batman or the love of a son for his father, depending on whether or not you believe the Joker knows who everybody is. Teen Titans and Red Hood, however, have a tougher time showing us that central theme of love, so that at the end of the issue I’m left wondering, “what was the point?” Continue reading

Phantom Stranger 1

Alternating Currents: Phantom Stranger 1, Taylor and Patrick

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing The Phantom Stranger 1, originally released October 10th, 2012.

Taylor: A long time ago I was talking to a friend about how we enjoy the use of biblical imagery and myth in our media. Neither of us is particularly religious but we both had to admit that there is something really engaging about the use of stories and symbols that have been a primary pillar of western civilization for over 2000 years. When an author is able to integrate religious themes into his or her work without bludgeoning you over the head with theology, the result is often highly entertaining, as fans of John Constantine will attest. However, it can never be stated enough that the author must have a clear vision in mind when alluding to religious imagery. While borrowing from a story here or a symbol there is fine, the most important thing is that it all hangs together with a clear vision held by the author. Phantom Stranger teeters on the edge of this abyss and in the proper first issue of the series the reader has to wonder on which side it will fall.

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