Heroes and Villains: Gideon Falls, Exorsisters, DC Universe: Titans

In this instalment of Heroes and Villains we’ve got some seasonally appropriate creepy books, and a look at how I got sucked into the DC Universe streaming service!

Gideon FallsGideon Falls #7
Jeff Lemire (W)
Andrea Sorrentino (A)
Image Comics

Gideon Falls is back this week and kicking off its second story arc and I am beyond pleased with that fact.

I usually try to feature brand new books in this column but there’s something about Gideon Falls that inspires fanaticism in me. “Have you read the book? You should read the book. Why aren’t you reading the book?” and on and on.  The world that Lemire and Sorrentino created invades my thoughts and keeps pulling me back to past issues, looking for clues to the larger mysteries the town contains.

For my money, Andrea Sorrentino is one of the best visual story tellers out there right now. The page layouts are inventive, mesmerizing, and something you could only pull off on the comic book page. Also, I’m a sucker for tone and the tone that is set by the art of this book is one of creeping dread. Perfect for those cold October evenings when the sun seems to set earlier and earlier each day.

As I mentioned above, the second act/arc/chapter of Gideon Falls starts with this issue. I loved the first six issues of the series and this issues seems like it won’t be much different from what has come before. However, the issue seemed a little more…cohesive? Linear-ish? A lot of information was delivered in this issue which is propelling the story forward and I can’t wait for the next instalment.

Ian Boothby (W)
Gisèle Lagacé (A)
Image Comics

Here’s one of those brand new books I was talking about! 

What says “October” more than a pair of sisters who are paranormal investigators “specializing in occult nuisances”? Well, not much really. But that’s Exorsisters which follows the adventures of Cate and Kate Harrow. Two siblings with the same name? What kind of Newhart (wait, strike that outdated reference)…what kind of Adventures of Pete & Pete shenanigans are going on in this book?

Well, for starters a groom gets DRAGGED TO HELL during his vows which brings the investigative team of the Harrows into the story. What follows is one of the more fun and clever spins on the paranormal investigation genre that I’ve seen in a bit.

Boothby turned in a great script for this book with dialog that zings along with some great character work. Let me just say, I didn’t think reverse demon possession could be a thing, but now that I know it is I may want a spin-off book about it.

I especially loved Legacé’s art in Exorsisters which has a classic Archie vibe with some manga flavor. That is to say I was in no way surprised when I read the back material of the book and noted that her C.V. included work on some Archie books and one of her inspirations was Inuyasha. The style she’s developed is completely her own and the characters are all amazingly expressive.

If you’re in the market for a fun book about demon fighting (it’s October 17th so why wouldn’t you be?) do yourself a favor and check this one out!

DC Universe: Titans

“Fuck Batman.” 

Yes, it’s a thing that Robin says in the series premiere of Titans. Yes, it makes sense in context. Now that we’ve established that, we can talk a little bit more about the show. For the record, I haven’t read any of the hottest of hot takes on this show so forgive me if I inadvertently repeat stuff that’s come before me.

If there were a Venn diagram of the DCEU and the CW’s Arrowverse, Titans would be very much smack dab in the middle of it. Maybe, a bit more towards the DCEU due to Robin’s  potty mouth and the violence…oh my god the violence. After the Comic Con trailer I had tweeted something along the lines of “This ain’t yo daddy’s Titans! (insert bending guitar note here)” and I from this point forth I shall be recognized as a prophet. 

I have bit of nerd blindspot for the early New Teen Titans books as I skewed 70/30 Marvel/DC as a kid so I won’t get too deep into how the show does or doesn’t differentiate itself from the comics. The core story beats are there: Dick Grayson has struck out on his own from Batman, Raven does…Raven stuff and Beast Boy turns into green animals.

On a personal note, the show is mostly set in my home state of Michigan as Geoff Johns is from here as well. 10 out of 10 for regional references, would watch again! I am easily amused and simply listing places that are within driving distance from me will earn you an Emmy nomination from me.

The show does however reflect poorly on the Detroit police department. Dick Grayson is now a police detective in Detroit having transferred from Gotham. Pretty cool, right? Gotham super hero of note Robin just happens to show up and BEAT THE EVER LOVING SHIT out of some drug dealers near an area Dick Grayson had under surveillance. So, why is it that when the police are reviewing security footage of Robin delivering the mother of all beatings to some drug dealers…ABSOLUTELY NO ONE TURNS TO LOOK AT DICK GRAYSON? 

I can accept a kid turning into a green tiger but not the collective deductive powers of the DPD failing to connect the dots between two people from Gotham being in the same vicinity at the same time. Maybe Detroit has a large population of Gotham expatriates in this universe? I don’t know.

Beyond that quibble the only other thing I took issue with was that the drug dealers had obviously watched Batman Begins and decided to hide their drugs in stuffed animals. Or they could have watched literally any other movie about drug smuggling from the last twenty years. I don’t know, but If I was a cop that pulled over a guy carrying a duffle bag of 100 stuffed animals… I’d have questions. In hindsight, their beating was well-earned for ripping off one of the most troped tropes of all time.

So after the couple of items I fixated on and extrapolated for what I hope was something close to humor, I liked Titans. It’s yet another superhero show in an already over saturated market…but it’s still a show about Robin. That’s something I would have given my pinky finger for twenty years ago. I’m curious to see where the show will go and how it will walk the tightrope between DC’s big and small screen ventures.

Finally, and this is mostly on me, the DC Universe streaming app pulled a fast one on me. I was unaware that they were not dropping the whole season of Titans at once. Last Friday I had settled in to my recliner with every intention of watching Titans until my eyes bled…Until I saw that the episodes are going to be released weekly. 

It makes sense for the DC Universe device to do this because there’s just not a ton of exclusive content available yet and it’s not an essential service for me. Full disclosure, I would have tried to watch the whole series within the 7 day trial period and not re-upped until Young Justice: Outsiders comes along in the future. So, good one, DC Universe… I’ll see you next Friday!

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