Comic Book Corner — Batgirl, My Little Pony, Teen Titans, Scooby Doo, and More!

The women of The Kitchen, art by Ming Doyle, image via Vertigo.
The women of The Kitchen, art by Ming Doyle, image via Vertigo.

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week we have a little bit for everyone from My Little Pony to The X-Files, Batgirl, Teen Titans, and Scooby Doo!

Dakster Sullivan — My Little Pony Omnibus Vol. 1 by Katie Cook with art by Andy Price

This past Saturday, one of my local comic book stores was hosting a “Toys for Tots” event, and I showed up to support my fellow cosplayers in attendance for the cause. While there, my son took his usual spot on the floor in the kids area and picked up whatever he thought looked interesting. After an hour of walking the store and mingling, I went back to retrieve him and it was like I didn’t exist. He was so engrossed in his book that I think it would have taken a fire to get him moving.

The book, was My Little Pony Omnibus Vol. 1. I’m not surprised that this caught his attention because of how much he loves the series, but what surprised me was that not only did he refuse to leave the store without it and spent his own money to buy it ($24.99), he also read it all the way home. Even when we got home, if he saw me reading it, all of a sudden he had to pick up where he had left off.

Image: Dakster Sullivan
Image: Dakster Sullivan

As a parent, to find a book that your child likes to read is worth it’s weight in gold. And for my son to be in a comic book store and openly reading My Little Pony when he usually hides his pony love where no one can see it just blows me away.

I was curious to see what was holding his attention and after an hour, I realized it had my attention as well. The return of Nightmare Moon, Big Mac’s crazy day, the story of how Princess Cadence met Shining Armor (and his geeky past) were too much to put down.

If you haven’t read any of the My Little Pony series yet, it’s a a real treasure to have and I highly recommend you check it out.

Age Recommendation: All ages

Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.

Lisa Tate — Scooby-Doo Team-Up #1 Special Edition featuring Batman and Robin Written by Sholly Fisch and art by Dario Brizuela

Batman and Scooby Doo Team-Up  Image: Halloween ComicFest
Batman and Scooby Doo Team-Up Image: Halloween ComicFest

Of all the Halloween ComicFest offerings this year, my five-year-old was more excited abut getting DC Comics’ Scooby-Doo Team-Up than any of the others, even over favorites My Little Pony and Vamplets.

In this free special edition of this title’s first issue, Man Bat and Robbin’, Scooby and Mystery Inc. run into the Dynamic Duo, who are in town searching for the menace known as Man-Bat, the genetic hybrid accident who was once brilliant scientist Kirk Lagstrom.

In true Scooby form, the gang run into a trio of other man-bat-like robbers in the middle of a mall heist, while trying to get the antidote to the real Man-Bat. With a little Scooby Gang help and Batman ingenuity, as well as a well-timed sale at House of Rope, this super team-up saves the day.

Everything about this book screams retro, from the simple, brightly-colored art, to the smiling Batman and bare-legged Robin. There’s even a quick glimpse at a restaurant dangerously similar to Bob’s Big Boy. That’s what makes this appealing to several generations. It’s a great story for kids, but it’s also a reminder of the Scooby-Doo crossover shows of the 1970s, where guests like Batman and Robin, The Harlem Globetrotters, The Adams Family, Kiss, and Phyllis Diller helped out with the mystery of the afternoon. The thought of it is so face-palming cheesy, it is hard to resist another peek in comic form?

This comic’s easy-to-follow, Saturday morning-style plot is ideal for reading to beginning readers. Older kids will enjoy a quick read, and the Tiny Titans puzzles in the back, as well.

Parents, don’t be surprised if you find yourself reading this sans kids. You might event find yourself involuntarily uttering “Ri’m Ratman.”

Age Recommendation: All ages

Corrina — Batgirl #36 written by Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart and art by Babs Tarr, Teen Titans Earth One, Vol. 1, written by Jeff Lemire and Rachel and Terry Dodson, The Kitchen #1 (Vertigo) written by Ollie Masters and art by Ming Doyle.

I love the new art style on Batgirl. I like the way a diverse cast was introduced this week. I love that Barbara’s main superpower is her intelligence and coolness under fire. The anime references were cute and a welcome addition to a universe that often seems to believe this brand of television shows don’t exist. But I have one pet peeve for the creative team: Dinah Lance (Black Canary) has never been mean or hateful, no matter how badly she’s been written. She is here. Please stop. I had such high hopes of seeing Dinah and Babs be friends and this nastiness is harshing my mellow for the series.

Age recommendation: 10 +.

Teen Titans Earth One continues the re-imagining of the DC Universe by DC’s top talent. Lemire and the Dodsons tackle Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s Teen Titans, a property I’ve loved for nearly 30 years. Did I like this new version? Well, it’s a terrific and involving story that reminded me somewhat of Marvel’s The Runaways, in that all the soon-to-be Titans are about the same age and most know each other through school, and that there’s something mysterious going on with their parents. It’s a fine story in which the plot is held together by a mysterious psychic call from the Starfire of this world.

However, it doesn’t feel very Titan-ish. The main premise of that series was young heroes growing into their own, while trying to live up to their mentors. There are no mentors here, just bad and worse parents. And Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing, the calm center of the group, is missing as well.

In conclusion: fine story, great art, and a cliffhanger ending but it’s best to put the Wolfman/Perez Titans out of your mind before reading. Due out 11/25.

Age recommendation: tweens and above.

I was pleased to see Kitchen #1 in my review pile this week because I love Ming Doyle’s art and I even have a commission of Jim Gordon that she did for me hanging on my wall. The Kitchen series is about three women living in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, in the 1970s. Their mobster husbands have been sent to jail, leaving them to hold things together for their families and to make sure their husbands’ businesses doesn’t fall apart.  I love the darker color palettes Doyle uses in different scenes and the sense of a neighborhood half-falling apart that oozes out of each page. These are desperate women who’ll have to be at least as violent as their husbands to survive.
Age Recommendation: Adult situations

Sophie Brown —The X-Files Season 10 #17 & 18 written by Joe Harris (A) Colin Lorimer

Issue 17 wraps up September’s Immaculate story with some strange choices, including the sudden and improbable arrival of former FBI Agent Frank Black. Frank was of course the protagonist for the TV show Millennium which shared a fictional universe with The X-Files (Frank himself appeared in a single episode of the show). He’s introduced quite cleverly here by using a throwaway line from Mulder over a full page dramatic portrait, but unless you were familiar with the character you would easily fail to recognise him and so the drama is lost. The same goes for Scully’s mysterious communique which arrives in a bag stamped with the logo of the Millennium group, something only die hards would recognise.

I also found it strange that Mulder was the one toeing the FBI line and being given the strange, paranormal version of the story by another source. The religious storylines were always the episodes where Mulder & Scully switched sides in the believer/skeptic playing field, but here the sudden intrusion of a third party makes the whole thing feel off, not to mention the hinted at sexual relationship between a preacher and an underage girl which is not given the weight such a serious subject deserves. This could have been a truly great issue, but it never quite stepped up to the plate.

Issue 18,, meanwhile promised to resolve the now 18-month-old mystery of what happened to Agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes during the first arc of Season 10. For those needing a refresher, Doggett was apparently killed in an oil pipe explosion while Reyes disappeared when she investigated the Van de Kamp family – adoptive parents of the currently missing William Scully. The issue certainly delivered what it claimed it would.

However, that’s all it did. The entire 22 page book could be easily condensed down into a single sentence and just when you think it’s about to really get going, it ends. And there were a few out of character moments that niggled me, including Scully’s huge hug for Doggett and the awkward crowbarring in of a mention for January’s upcoming Millennium series.

But there’s also some great moments here too. Doggett & Reyes’ basement reunion is drawn beautifully, in fact the artwork throughout is some of the most cinematic and interesting from the series. Unfortunately the issue itself feels like filler and as this was a standalone, we won’t even see any resolution to the new questions it has raised next month.
Age Recommendation: 12 plus.

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books on ComiXology!