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CSBG Archive

Comic Critics #150!

Here is the latest installment of the Comic Critics strip, courtesy of Sean Whitmore (writer) and Brandon Hanvey (artist)! You can check out the first hundred and forty-nine strips at the archive here and you can read more about Sean and Brandon at the Comic Critics blog.

Enjoy!

Let us know what you think, either here or at the ComicCritics blog!

24 Comments

only the comic critic would dare to state what fans figure superman really thinks of super boy in a comic way.lol

Never made sense to me that Parker didn’t feel that way about Reilly.
Not sure which would be creepier: If a teen clone of you turned up outta the blue one day (God, I remember being that stupid, dweeby, annoying kid!)… Or a clone around the same age as you right now.

Anyways, good strip! 150 more!

I’m mostly enjoying the show, but I have a few gripes that I wonder if anyone else shares.

Robin’s whole thing of not understanding prefixes is so dumb. It’s comedy written by people who can’t write jokes.

Superboy took way too long to stop acting like a whiny brat in every single scene. Now he just does every other scene. We get it, you’re angsty, RELAX.

The same character dynamics playing out the same way every episode, really. Kid Flash is pathetic and lovestruck, M’gann is oblivious to it. Superboy doesn’t listen, gets humbled. Speedy doesn’t think he’s respected BOO HOO run away and cry about it.

Can we get some development, already?

I actually like this show’s take on Robin, including his fascination with wordplay. I see it as more of a character trait than an attempt at humor, and I think it works. It was an interesting choice to make him the youngest and give him the techie role rather than the leadership role he always has (although the show has already hinted that it’s just a matter of time before he takes that on too). I’d agree that Superboy is a little grating, except that his 90’s comics incarnation was kind of a punk too, leather jacket and all.

Overall I have high hopes for this one. I like the team dynamic and the writing/animation is pretty sharp. I just hope it doesn’t devolve into a lot of sappy teen drama.

The guys really hit the nail on the head there, the show is treating Superman that way so far and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change.

Doesn’t look like it’s going to change? It’s something that’s only been brought up in two episodes so far. It’s a serialized story, everything can’t be immediately wrapped up in a neat little package.

Is there something wrong with the bot that auto-replies to all of these with ‘Should have ended a panel earlier’? It hasn’t posted yet.

Good strip! Glad to see I’m not the only one less than fully whelmed by Superman’s characterization (sue me – I think the Robin thing’s one of the better running gags the show has; he doesn’t NOT understand prefixes, he understands them too well and wants to disassemble and play with them).

I’ve liked the show, but a few things have stood out as weak spots to me (aside from the Superdickery thing):

1) The fact that the show didn’t introduce Miss Martian until the end of the pilot, took forever to introduce Artemis, uses Zatarra instead of Zatanna, and hasn’t given any female Justice Leaguers any real screen time except for Black Canary in one scene makes me feel like the writers are suffering from the “boys don’t want to watch shows about girls!” mentality that plagued a lot of 80s cartoons.

2) Showing Artemis in the opening of every episode but then trying to make it a mystery who shot the arrow that saved Kid Flash from Amazo shows either a lack of attention to detail or a lack of faithin the audience’s intelligence.

3) They seem to be too concerned with making Aqualad “Positive Role Model Man” to give him any personality beyond the “natural born leader” schtick that every superhero of color gets slapped on when he or she joins a team.

Those are the big problems. There are little ones (not thrilled with the “A likes B who likes C who likes D, but D doesn’t like anyone” relationships, but I’m willing to see where they go with that) but I’m kind of stretching the amount of ranting about Young Justice I can justify cramming into a post allegedly about a Comic Critics strip.

I totally agree with your point #3. It’s a patronizing way of portraying the only black character on the show.

For such a techie, I would expect Robin to give Dictionary.com a quick check to discover the etymological roots of disaster, under/overwhelmed, etc. It just took me about 5 seconds. The only character trait it shows to me is that he thinks he’s way more clever than he actually is. And I don’t think that’s what they’re going for.

Why isn’t anyone ever whelmed, Robin? Because that’s a totally unremarkable state. It’s only significant if you have too much or too little. No one cares if you got exactly the right amount.

I’m glad they stopped doing his creepy echoing laugh when he was going into action.

Whelmed means the same thing as overwhelmed.

Technically, yes, but I think a distinction could be made to allow for the modern use of “overwhelmed”. Where “whelmed” could just be the state of being completely submerged, for example, “overwhelmed” could be the state of being submerged to a point where one felt unable to escape.

But as far as the literal definition of the word goes, you’re right.

Needs an extra thought balloon of “HELLO MEGAN! I shouldn’t have asked about that” in the final panel.

Because really, “HELLO MEGAN!” needs to be mocked at every possible instance.

I just figured out that Superman in Young Justice (Earth-16) is the same Superman that would be created from the “Smallville” TV show.

@ZZZ
“2) Showing Artemis in the opening of every episode … shows either a lack of attention to detail or a lack of faithin the audience’s intelligence.”

Or a lack of budget and/or directorial hands tied by executives.

I don’t really see the big deal about the “whelmed” joke or any of his other grammatical puns. They’re okay to me, no worse than any of the other joking styles Dick Grayson’s been depicted with over the decades. And I think it’s actually a valid question, why do people only use the words overwhelmed and underwhelmed but never the word whelmed? Kind of like how people always use the word disgruntled, but no one ever says they’re gruntled. And besides, the characters like 14 or something. Who hasn’t made dumber jokes at that age.

I mean for “humorous” dialogue that tried to show how clever the characters were but only came off aggravating and made me want to punch them in the face, nothing beats Giffen and Rogers Blue Beetle. That banter was excruciating. Compared to that, Robin on Young Justice is Oscar Wilde caliber wit.

Is the Robin in Young Justice supposed to be Dick Grayson? I always just assumed that it was Tim Drake since that was the Robin in the original comic book Young Justice series. I’ll admit that I haven’t been religiously watching the cartoon though – just picking up an episode here and there so there’s probably alot of setup that I’ve missed. I was mildly disappointed that it didn’t have the humor and light-heartedness of the original Peter David penned comic, but I guess if it went in that direction it would have been too much like the Teen Titans animated series from a few years back (which was quite awesome, by the way, the DVD’s of which have given me something to bond with my 6 year old daughter over).

Anyhow, I’m kind of lukewarm on the YJ cartoon so far. I think the critiques made above are spot on and kind of point toward the general place we’re all coming from – there’s real potential here, but the show has lots of room for growth (hopefully in the right direction).

Oh yeah, the Comic Critics strip was pretty good too!

90’s Superboy had punk stylings, but he was emo free. He was all about how freakin’ awesome it’d be to be a teenage clone of Superman.

And yeah, I’ll say it…be stronger with one less panel..the opening one actually.

Is the Robin in Young Justice supposed to be Dick Grayson

It hasn’t been mentioned in the show, but the creators said so in interviews.

I always just assumed that it was Tim Drake since that was the Robin in the original comic book Young Justice series.

Yes, but remember also that Wally West/Kid Flash wasn’t the speed guy in the original YJ comic series either, it was Bart Allen/Impulse. So the show has already set a precedent for placing first generation sidekicks onto the team.

It hasn’t been mentioned in the show, but the creators said so in interviews.

In “Infiltrator”, Robin’s code for accessing Bruce Wayne’s network was “Waynetech override RG4″. I assume RG=Richard Grayson.

@Squashua

I can buy that whoever decided to hold off on introducing Artemis to the team until the sixth episode didn’t know that the character would be public knowledge by the time the episode aired, and I can buy that the Amazo episode – and it’s decision to tease the “mystery” archer helping the team – was written before the opening sequence was animated and the press releases and interviews for the show started, and I can even but that the people who made those decisions had no input on the opening sequence and weren’t the ones who released the identities of the entire team to the public.

But if that’s the case, it just means that the writers of the episodes in question aren’t to blame for the screw up. Someone involved with the show made the decision to include her in the opening credits (in a way that didn’t allow her to be easily edited out until she appeared on the show – there was no need to animate two different openings) and to include the character in press information sent out before the pilot even aired (I try to avoid spoilers and by the time she first appeared on in an episode I already knew details about the character’s ethnicity that still haven’t been revealed on the actual show yet). It doesn’t matter if it was a producer, director, animator, writer, line developer, or network excutive, SOMEone either didn’t realize what they were doing, thought the audience wouldn’t notice, or didn’t care.

Could’ve done without that last panel! (just kidding, but the joke would have actually worked just as well without it)

2) Showing Artemis in the opening of every episode but then trying to make it a mystery who shot the arrow that saved Kid Flash from Amazo shows either a lack of attention to detail or a lack of faithin the audience’s intelligence.

I don’t think it was considered a pivotal mystery by the writers. I mean it lasted, what, all of 1 minutes? It occurred in the last 5 minutes of one episode, and was revealed in the first 5 minutes of the next one, when Artemis was revealed. Revealing that Artemis would join the team was never the big mystery, who she is and what her real motivates actually are is the big mystery. And that they haven’t spoiled yet at all.

It doesn’t matter if it was a producer, director, animator, writer, line developer, or network excutive, SOMEone either didn’t realize what they were doing, thought the audience wouldn’t notice, or didn’t care.

I think it’s more they thought the audience wouldn’t care. And they were right I think. At least I didn’t care, and on any sites I’ve seen discussing the episode I didn’t see anyone caring. No one “screwed up,” because nothing was ruined. I doubt the writers ever even entertained it as a serious mystery intended to get fans abuzzing. I think they wrote it expecting that when the episode aired, fans would already know Artemis was joining. Look at the way it was handled. No long wait for the reveal, a grand total of 3 sentences dedicated to the arrow, and done. Even if the existence of Artemis was kept secret from the fans, it’s obvious by how casually the set and revelation of her as the shooter of the arrow was never meant to provide any type of huge story payoff for the viewers.

It’s definitely a minor thing, and I wouldn’t have dedicated more than the single sentence in my original post to it if no one had taken issue with it (and if people had taken issue with all three points I made, it’s probably the one I would have devoted the least energy to defending … maybe not though: I have an irrational aversion to “spoilers”).

You’re right that it certainly didn’t ruin the show. It’s possible it was done intentionally and wasn’t a mistake, and if it was a mistake, it was on the order of Han Solo using the word “parsecs” as a unit of time in the original Star Wars (i.e. one that has little if any affect on the actual quality of the work). It just strikes me as a symptom of the same mindset that results in movie trailers giving away major plot twists. I don’t want to go into details because I don’t want to be the person who spoils things for someone else while railing against spoilers, but even though I do my best to avoid information about upcoming developments on shows I like, I probably know more about upcoming developments on YJ than any other show I watch. I can’t prove I’d be enjoying the show more if I didn’t know these things, and I’m sure there are people who enjoy it more having the information going in, but it definitely falls under the category of “things that bug me about the show.”

I do, though, think that the fact that the “who shot the arrow?” question was set up in the last five minutes of one episode and resolved in the first five of the next doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t intended as a surprise (I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that I read it differently). Almost all cliffhangers are set up at the end of one episode (or scene) and resolved in the beginning of the next; it’s the week or more between episodes or even just the space of a commercial break that’s supposed to make them suspenseful. The payoff on YJ was definitely underplayed, you’re very right, and not drawn out any longer than necessary to make Kid Flash look like an ass. But the setup seemed, to me, so be taking the “mystery” seriously, what with the kids accusing Green Arrow of babying them and him proving it wasn’t his arrow. “Schooled” was written by a different writer (according to Wikipedia, Nicole Dubuc wrote “Schooled” and Jon Weisman wrote “Infiltrator”) and I think it’s entirely possible that she meant the archer’s identity to be more of a surprise.

Anyway, it’s really not as big a deal to me as it’s probably coming across as. I can pretty much write endlessly on just about anything, and if I think I’m being unclear, I tend to overexplain (this is why I can never have a Twitter feed), which can come across as an emotional rant when it’s really just long-windedness.

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