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A Quick One While He’s Trapped On Paradise Island: Graeme does Winick from 11/14

Graeme McMillan

Easiest way to get people to disagree with you on the internet: Say that you like a Judd Winick comic. And, while GREEN ARROW AND BLACK CANARY #2 isn’t entirely without fault (The whole “Your ex-hooker sidekick with AIDS is unclean” scene was both ridiculous and clunky, for one thing), I have to admit the sense of humor on show in the book won me over; the dialogue of the last page alone, undercutting and subverting what you’d expect from the scene by replacing the traditional “statement of how bad things look to make the cliffhanger seem more exciting and dangerous” with a conversation about shared underwear, showed a tongue-in-cheek self-awareness that, when paired with Cliff Chiang’s pretty-but-toothy artwork, makes for a book that’s more Good than I expected.

Shame that I can’t say the same thing about TITANS EAST SPECIAL #1, in which Winick doesn’t so much attempt a story, but tries to stretch out two filler sequences into a one-shot that pretty much exists only to create faux-expectation for an upcoming new series in the new year. Given the comedy and aware quality of the Arrow/Canary book, it’s even more surprising to see just how generic and dull the writing is in this one-shot, with narration like “Long ago… And not too far away… There was a group of children who grew up alongside champions. These heroes taught them to fight evil. The worst kind of evil,” and the uneven nature of the plotting (Was there even an attempt to balance out the first half-flashback with the second half of the book, starring an almost entirely different set of characters?).

Maybe Winick just reacts to his artists, because whereas Cliff Chiang’s work on the former book is easy on the eye, Ian Churchill’s art on Titans East is horrible stuff, from the Wolverine in Robin’s outfit – Seriously, when was Dick Grayson ever that hairy? – to the bland similarity in every character he draws. It’s an exceptionally disappointing, Awful book that pretty much acts as a disincentive to pick up the new Titans book when it finally appears. Better luck next time, I guess.

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