Historically speaking, the Teen Titans have not had a really great time dealing with adults. If it's not a one-eyed weirdo trying to murder them with swords and juvenile delinquents, it's a cult leader who literally drinks blood trying to turn them over to demonic ancestors. So really, it's not much of a surprise that this time, they're dealing with being framed for mass murder.
Well, Superboy is, anyway, and as you might expect, that's a pretty big source of stress, to the point where it's left the team fractured, with Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, Bunker and Chimera on the run from everyone --- including Manchester Black. And really, when you think about all that, then deciding to break into a jail in a last-ditch effort to clear your names actually starts to seem like a pretty decent idea.
Months before it even came out, this week's Teen Titans #1 was off to a pretty rough start. Not only did it have the stigma of being one of the few "New 52" comics to be canceled and relaunched in the three years since DC's line-wide superhero reboot, alongside last week's New Suicide Squad, but criticism over Kenneth Rocafort's cover sparked a controversy that would've drowned out the actual content no matter what the content of the issue was. And really, that's kind of a shame.
Teen Titans #1 isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a solid story of teenage superheroics, and like so many of the recent launches from DC, it feels like the type of thing that the New 52 should've been doing all along. If it just didn't look like it does, it'd be great.
That didn't last long. Though Scott Lobdell and Tyler Kirkham's Teen Titans run will conclude this month with issue #30 on April 23 and in the Teen Titans Annual #3 on April 30, DC will relaunch the title in July. Helming the relaunch is writer Will Pfeifer with Teen Titans Annual #3 artist Kenneth Rocafort, which should bridge the storylines, to an extent, with some visual continuity.
A new volume of Batman: Black and White kicked off last week, continuing the DC Comics anthology's tradition of high quality. Debuting in 1996, the original Batman: Black and White series quickly set the comics world ablaze with a collection of short, powerful tales told by some of the industry's finest. Edited by Mark Chiarello, the four issues gathered sixteen original eight-page black and white stories from a who’s who of influential creators, including Archie Goodwin, Joe Kubert, Howard Chaykin, Brian Bolland, Bill Sienkiewicz, Neil Gaiman, and several more. It won the Eisner Awards for “Best Short Story” and “Best Anthology,” inspired a ton of great statues (one of which you can win), and two follow-up volumes in 2002 and 2007, mostly made up of backup stories from the Batman: Gotham Knights series.
In celebration of the new series, I read all three volumes of Batman: Black and White (I also did other stuff, I have a life), and after poring over all 600-plus pages, I can confidently say that these are the ten best stories from the original volumes, presented here in chronological order.
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