The Dig List: 9/2/07 (The "Kids Are Back For a New Semester so I Had to Park in Guam" Edition!)

Two Dig Lists in one week; I must like things lately. That makes for a nice change.

Marvel Adventures Avengers Vol. 2: Mischief TPB (Target edition) - Again, I love those Marvel collections sold at Target - oversized and a price point that works out to $1.25 an issue. What a great way to help get kids (and, apparently, me) into more comics. Anyway, this reprints issues 5-8 of what right-thinking people know better as "the good Avengers book," this time around written by Tony Bedard. Not quite as good as the Jeff Parker stories that bookend these issues - and in fact, the story follows the same basic arc as the first four issues: fights against various villains in the first three stories who then team up to thump the Avengers in the fourth - but still pretty decent reading, and I do enjoy Bedard's characterization of the overall Big Bad for the story, Loki. Like Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation, he's pretty much all-powerful, but he enjoys the game too much to just wipe everyone out with a thought. It's not the newest approach in the world, but it's one I haven't seen taken with Loki too often before - odd since he's a god of mischief - so I appreciated it. In short (too late), the Parker stories may be better, but this is still worth your time, particularly at that sweet Target price point.

On a related note, I feel sort of bad for Tony Bedard sometimes. Lately, he seems like he's a professional "The Other Guy." He's not Jeff Parker, he's not Mark Waid, he's not Gail Simone, but he has to come in and follow the incredibly great work they did on their respective titles. It can't be easy. It must be like having to go on at the Improv after some big name comedian comes in for a surprise set and just absolutely kills. Bedard's a decent writer, but coming in after Parker, Waid, and Simone just killed? Well, he's just this Other Guy.

But I digress... moving on:

Teen Titans #50 - I don't think I've read an issue of this book since the crossover that sent the Reboot LSH off to their kinda-sorta doom, but this got such good word of mouth that I figured I'd pick it up, and I'm glad I did. The wholesale slaughter of Bart Allen is, was, and will always be an incredibly stupid idea on DC's part, but at least he's being treated with some reverence by the writers (if not editorial), and he gets a nice send-off here. And as I find myself liking the new Blue Beetle more and more over time, I'm glad to see he's joining the team, even if it ends up on being a part-time basis. Jaime (and his book) needs all the support he can get, so anything that gets him a little more face time is okay by me.

The real treat, though, was that Sean McKeever actually got me to care about sub-plots in a book I don't normally read. How chillingly fitting that those two return at the end, but what are the up to? Why did Miss Martian do that, anyway, and why does Robin's happiness mean so much to her? Why is Supergirl cool in every book but her own? I really want to know the answers, so I'm sure I'll keep reading now, even if only in trade. The art was a little wonky in places - Ravager needs a sandwich, STAT! - and I think I'd be better off remembering the Wolfman and Perez run than actually seeing it revisited briefly (old Raven bores me, and Gar looks like he was partially transformed into a chipmunk the whole time), but on the whole, it was a good read. Plus, Tiny Titans!

Brave and the Bold (Vol. 1) #116 - You've gotta love DC 100 Pagers, especially when they're about 75% Sheer Bob Haney Insanity. You've got a (then) new team-up with Batman and the Spectre, beautifully drawn by Jim Aparo, which makes no sense at all and features Commissioner Gordon constantly insulting Jim Corrigan (Commish, have you read any of those 70s Spectre stories? That guy will f--- you up, and no Batsignal in the world will save your ass that day). Then we get a Haney Teen Titans reprint (they fight some trippy other-dimensional aliens in a high school), an older Haney B&B story (Wonder Woman and Batgirl pretend to fall for Batman in order to confuse Copperhead somehow, then actually fall for him. 100% Grade A Haney Insanity ensues.), and a Bob Kanigher Silent Knight story which is odd, sure, but actually pretty sedate for a guy who was probably Haney's chief rival in the "Check Your Brain at the Door" Storytelling Awards (though how the hell a bird carries an entire suit of armor to and from various trees is beyond me; though maybe if it was an African Swallow...). It's 100 pages of just utter nonsense - even by superhero comic standards - but it's a fun read if you can tolerate this sort of thing.

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