Comics review: Tiny Titans #33, Darkwing Duck #5, Life With Archie #3

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Tiny Titans #33 coverTiny Titans #33

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

This month features an “All-Robin Issue,” and true to its name, the stories center around various “wannabes” putting on Robin costumes, to Robin’s annoyance. Said “wannabes” including two younger kids named Jason and Tim, of course.

This issue seems to feature a higher than usual number of references to the mainstream DC continuity, including references to the Red Hood (the Joker’s pre-Joker identity as an anonymous gangster, borrowed in a recent storyline by someone else), Cassandra Cain (who served as Batgirl in the 2000s Bat-books), and (in the story’s funniest part) a Damian Wayne cameo, along with a pointed remark about the “need” for replacement-Robins (and Batgirls) in the first place. Maybe made funnier in that as far as most of the general non-comic-reading public (i.e. my parents, coworkers, etc.) is concerned, Robin is Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon is Batgirl (and Jason Todd/Tim Drake/Cassandra Cain/etc. are “who?” or “Jeopardy” trivia questions at best, unless they’re fans of the Tim Drake-using “The New Batman/Superman Adventures” cartoon from the 90s)…

There’s also a reprint of the first mini-story from the first “Tiny Titans/Little Archie” crossover issue.

Darkwing Duck #5

Darkwing Duck #5 coverWritten by: Ian Brill
Art by: James Silvani

The first issue after the initial four-issue story arc sees the heroes re-adjusting to life in St. Canard returning to normal, with Darkwing back in action as the city’s protector. Unknown to them, however, is that Negaduck’s teamed up with Magica de Spell (Uncle Scrooge’s old enemy) to recruit brainwashed Darkwing Ducks from various alternate realities to smear his good name (I liked “Spaceman Darkwing” and the “Caveduck Darkwing”).

Nice start to the first issue that’s truly part of the continuing series (the first four were originally supposed to be just a miniseries, but the comic sold well enough they quickly changed it to a continuing series). Magica here resembles her “DuckTales” self, with the dialogue reflecting her June Foray-provided Natasha Fatale accent. There’s also a reunion between Darkwing and his girlfriend from the animated series, Morgana the sorceress. I was also amused to see St. Canard’s chief of police looks like a Disney-dog-nose version of Commissioner Gordon of “Batman” fame.

life_with_archie3Life With Archie #3

Written by: Paul Kupperberg
Art by: Norm Breyfogle

In the “Veronica” future, most of the story centers around the stress the various characters are all under, thanks to Mr. Lodge’s actions. Meanwhile, Moose’s campaign for mayor runs into trouble, thanks to Lodge dredging up all the stuff Moose did in high school (and apparently college… more on that below) as a result of his short temper.

In the “Betty” future, Ambrose (from the old “Little Archie” comics) and Archie continue plans to turn Ambrose’s diner into a nightclub, while Mr. Lodge continues *his* plans to undermine Archie and Betty’s life. There’s also a brief portion with the adult, married Chuck and Nancy, focusing on their art and writing careers respectively. Oddly, we see Chuck is picking up a shipment of comics from a FedEx facility, complete with the familiar FedEx logo. Given Archie usually sticks with parody-names of real-world products, this stuck out strongly to me. I was expecting a name along the lines of “FedVex” or “Federal Excess”…

The issue, like the others in the series, also comes with celebrity “gossip,” namely a section discussing the Fox TV show “Glee” (which, since I don’t watch Fox, I’ve never seen), as well as pieces about the virtues of volunteering, Archie Comics giving a presentation at a Ronald McDonald House, and a pull-out poster (one side featuring the cover from Archie’s recent “Twilight” parody, the other side featuring the usual teenaged Betty and Veronica having fun driving off to somewhere).

The “Veronica” future shows an adult version of Jason Blossom, Cheryl Blossom’s equally-snooty brother, working for Lodge to dig up dirt on Moose. From the way he’s drawn here, he looks like he’s not as svelte/handsome as he is in the usual teenage setting, at least based on the stories I’ve seen him in. As for Moose, Jason mentions finding “property damage claims” and “police reports” about Moose’s temper-spawn rampages in high school and college. Besides making Moose sound like he’s the Incredible Hulk, since police departments/courts in the US usually don’t give out information about juveniles’ crimes (except to the person themselves or their immediate family), it implies Moose’s behavior will be unchanged once the gang goes off to college, and to the point where the police get involved.

I suppose it’s to give a realistic aspect on the downside of such a short temper, though it casts a darker tone on the whole “Moose is mad at Reggie/etc. for hitting on his girl Midge” running gag. Which I suppose is the main focus of adult-Moose in both of the future-stories, seeing him learn to control his temper.

On a lighter note, I can identify with Reggie’s retail employment experiences, though given it’s a Wal-Mart parody, I wonder if this book’s being stocked there…


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