Tag Archives: Art Baltazar

Comic review: Tiny Titans #50

Tiny Titans #50Tiny Titans #50

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

As surprising as it may be, this is the final issue of “Tiny Titans.” It’s had a quite fun run, and the final issue of this title is another enjoyable installment (and series wrap-up). (Yes, SPOILERS.)

The plot is a typical Tiny Titans romp: Beast Boy’s crush on Terra and attempts to impress her; Robin and Cyborg discuss with Alfred about whatever happened to “that kid with the crown hat [and] his friend with the orange hair” (heh); and lots of new costumes, in a bit of foreshadowing/referencing the “New 52.” The costume jokes and references were particularly funny (plus they found a use for that otherwise stupid looking “Lil’ Abner” costume of Supes’)… “[Beast Boy looks] like a green Superboy,” indeed. I’ll also miss the little captions below the final panels of each story section, which were often also pretty funny (“quesadillas!”).

The comic also contains a preview of the upcoming “Superman Family Adventures.” The pages here A) already look more like a typical traditional Superman outing than what we’re currently getting in the DCNU and B) are also hilarious (I liked Perry White’s moments). I hope the new title is successful…

Tiny Titans ending, but Superman Family getting revived

Superman Family Adventures
The new "Superman Family Adventures."

As noted elsewhere (including in an earlier blog post), DC’s “Tiny Titans” ends in March, after a fifty-issue run. I, along with plenty of readers, will miss this fun title.

However, the crew on “Tiny Titans,” Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, will be working on a new all-ages title, a revival of “Superman Family,” now titled “Superman Family Adventures.” (Comic Book Resources has more about this title.) The new title will feature the usual modern Superman supporting cast. Superman, as shown in the picture to the left, will be wearing his new DCNU/upcoming-movie collared costume. Also featured among the supporting cast (presumably alongside Krypto and Streaky) is “Fuzzy, the Krypto Mouse.” Fuzzy is actually a revived old character, who appeared only once—in a 1958 Superboy story. I’ve read the story, but have to admit Fuzzy’s obscure, even by my standards!

Superman Family #196 cover
The original "Superman Family."

“Superman Family” was originally an anthology title published in the 70s and early 80s by DC Comics, as the result of merging two of their long-running Silver Age titles: “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen,” and “Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane.” Along with Jimmy and Lois continuing their solo stories in “Superman Family,” there were also stories featuring: Superboy; Krypto; Supergirl; Nightwing and Flamebird (the Batman and Robin-like heroes of the bottle city of Kandor); “The Private Life of Clark Kent” (stories where Clark solved problems without changing into Superman, including one era-appropriate situation Clark once found himself in); and “Mr. and Mrs. Superman,” stories about the married Earth-Two Clark Kent and Lois Lane. The series was apparently successful enough to spawn a shorter-lived similar Batman title, “Batman Family” (featuring Robin and Batgirl prominently).

Hopefully, the new “Superman Family Adventures” will be as successful as its Bronze Age predecessor and “Tiny Titans!”

Comic review: Tiny Titans #38

Tiny Titans #38Tiny Titans #38

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

This issue centers around Aquaman’s youthful sidekick, Aqualad (the original Aqualad, not the current African-American one), and several misadventures he has under the sea. After meeting a young lady named “Aquagirl,” Aqualad (along with Lagoon Boy) join her underwater version of the Tiny Titans. There’s also several bits centering around the heroes’ aquatic pets (showing a few members of the underwater-Titans aren’t the brightest), and a funny sequence centered around the “Aquaman Family” home.

My favorite parts of this issue were the underwater Pet Club scenes (and the reactions Aqualad and Lagoon Boy had to the whole thing), and the scenes in Aquaman’s home.

I assume some of the references to “Hurtin’ Titans” (and possibly the use of Aquagirl herself) are references to whatever’s going on in current mainstream DC books (that I won’t touch with a 10-foot pole)…

 

Comic review: Tiny Titans #37

Tiny Titans #37Tiny Titans #37

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

This month’s issue features the “Shazam Family” (or “(Captain) Marvel Family” of course, if it weren’t for Marvel Comics trademarking the use of “Marvel” on a comic book cover).

The overall story features Mr. Talky Tawny, the talking tiger, serving as a substitute teacher at the Titans’ school. There’s also various jokes about how the Marvels change into their identities via their magic words, which gets Psimon involved. We also get to see Mister Mind, the “world’s wickedest worm,” discover the existence of Pet Club and want in, which *also* gets Psimon involved.

Freddy in his regular identity is shown with a wheelchair here instead of a crutch (as in older appearances). Freddy also uses a wheelchair in “Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam” (a comic also worked on by “Tiny Titans”‘s creators) and some other modern appearances. Mary here also looks somewhat like her “Magic of Shazam” self.

As in the previous few months’ worth of Johnny DC titles, more Archie digital comic ads appear in this issue.

Comic review: Tiny Titans #36

Tiny Titans #36Tiny Titans #36

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

In this issue, it’s “Titans to the Center of the Earth” (as the cover proclaims), as Terra takes some of the fire-themed Tiny Titans (Hotstuff, Kid Devil) and Beast Boy (who begged to go) on a trip to the “center of the Earth” (melodramatically proclaimed). Of course, the trip proves to be different than expected, including hot dogs, strange creatures, and a cameo by Etrigan, DC’s demon who usually speaks in rhyme.

My favorite parts: the melodramatic “journey to the center of the Earth” statement of Terra’s; Beast Boy seeing “danger at every turn” of the trip to the point of paranoia; the surprise-but-funny cameo at the end of the story.

This issue also has several ads for Archie comics’ digital comics platform, just like last month’s issue contained. I’m guessing it’s some part of the recent spate of interaction between DC and Archie (the Tiny Titans-Little Archie crossover and the use of the “Red Circle” superheroes by DC).

Archie comics reviews: Tiny Titans/Little Archie #3 (of 3), Life With Archie #5

Tiny Titans/Little Archie #3 coverTiny Titans/Little Archie #3 (of 3)

Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar

In this concluding issue of the Little Archie/Tiny Titans crossover, Sabrina finally shows up and meets Raven. They wind up using their powers to help their friends in the typical goofy manner of this series. Zatara also winds up “helping” in an amusing manner, based on an offhanded remark Little Archie makes.

Other segments include more of Archie and Robin being mistaken for each other, with Mr. Lodge (apparently wary of possibly dealing with another Archie) showing little patience for Robin (who Veronica invited over). Archie also winds up in the Batcave and runs amok. Duela (the “Joker’s Daughter”) then shows up, leading to the story’s funniest part, Batman calling the Joker to “come pick up both his kids” (assuming “the boy with the orange hair” is one of the Joker’s). There’s also an eating contest between Cyborg and Jughead, and more of Mr. Weatherbee meeting his “old friends” (Slade and Trigon).

Unlike the regular Archie comics, here the kids are all aware of Sabrina’s witchcraft powers, which fits with the general lack of secret identities/light-hearted tone of the “Tiny Titans” series. In the regular comics, Sabrina’s finally told one of the core Archie cast, Jughead (in “Jughead” #200) earlier this year, a revelation they seem to plan to follow up on in an upcoming “Archie & Friends” issue.

There’s also a backup story, a several page preview of the “Young Justice” comic based on the new TV series (which I haven’t seen). From what’s printed, I’m not too taken with how Superboy’s written (or I don’t have patience for obnoxious sullen teenagers), though I guess it keeps with the “teens want to be treated like grownups… only, uh, without paying bills or getting a job or living outside their parents’ house” generation-gap/adolescent-angst cliche. If that’s reflective of the show’s tone, my interest has just lessened…

Nice wrapup to the miniseries. Now if we can get Marvel and Archie to come up with (as promised in “Archie Meets the Punisher”) a “Jughead Meets Wolverine” story for the next inter-company crossover…

Life With Archie #5Life With Archie #5 (January 2011 issue)

Written by: Paul Kupperberg
Art by: Norm Breyfogle

Things finally come to a boil in the “Veronica” future storyline, with Veronica finally confronting her father over his Mr. Burns-esque plans for Riverdale’s future (a future of chain stores aplenty driving out local business, particularly Pop Tate’s Jughead’s Chocklit Shop). Meanwhile, Moose’s political campaign gets (after the events of this story) a likely major boost, and Jughead looks like he’s finally able to save the shop.

Nice boost in tone from the previous issues, with several items apparently being wrapped up (or set up for a new future storyline) for next issue. I liked the sarcastic next issue caption box, “Next: Someone Gets Arrested!,” at the end. A few Archie universe details are also included, particularly Pickens Park (a recurring Riverdale locale) and its statue of Civil War hero General Pickens (apparently somehow related to Jughead, if one goes by the short-lived, early 90s time-travel series “Jughead’s Time Police”).

As for the “Betty” storyline, the main focus is on the upcoming triple-wedding between Ms. Beazley and Svenson (apparently in this timeline Beazley’s bodybuilder husband from a recent Archie story is either deceased or divorced), Ms. Grundy and Mr. Weatherbee (with more foreshadowing on “not much time left”), and Jughead and Midge. Other subplots are focused on, namely Betty and Archie’s financial state, Veronica finally reconciling with Archie and Betty (and vowing to do something about her father), and Mr. Lodge himself confronting Archie to brag about how he’s trying to break Archie and Betty’s life.

The story (and caption for the next issue) seem to foreshadow Archie and Betty possibly moving back to Riverdale, as well as Ms. Grundy’s fate, though I’d like to know what’ll happen to Reggie (who doesn’t appear in this story) or what Archie and company plan on doing about Mr. Lodge.

Meanwhile, there’s the usual backup items in this magazine. A “Celebrity Daydreams” page has Betty and Veronica (in their usual teen forms) imagining themselves as singers Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry respectively, while a two-page spread has the gang discuss plans for winter break/celebrities they’d love to meet up with. Interestingly, Chuck’s portion mentions by name reading comics by Dan DeCarlo, a name I’d figure would be little mentioned by Archie (per their treatment of DeCarlo late in his life), though a recent compilation of his work by Archie (along with the management changes) might suggest a change in attitudes. There’s also a pullout two-sided poster with a Christmas theme (one side is from the recent Christmas themed trade paperback cover, the other from a “Betty & Veronica Spectacular” I bought for my niece a few years ago). Finally, another two-page spread features various celebrities (several who I’ve never heard of) talking about dealing with bullying, with a half-page by “Archie” himself giving tips for how to deal with bullying. While it’s fallen out of the news recently, it’s good to see bullying/cyberbullying still being mentioned.