Legendary creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez return to their most successful work with the 20something years in the making GAMES Graphic Novel. Set in the heyday of the Wolfman/Perez Titans series, the team is recruited by shady government agent King Faraday to help him win a deadly matching of wits against The Gamesmaster.
Nostalgia is an awesome thing…it makes you cheer for Hulk Hogan when he wrestles against the Rock even though Hogan is the bad guy; it makes you think What’s Happening Now is an example of great TV; it makes you still hold onto the idea that Angelina Jolie is hot despite knowing deep down inside that she looks like the Crypt Keeper now. And warm fuzzes of nostalgia is one of the best things about this book. I was a huge Wolfman/Perez TITANS fan and never even had to be asked twice which was the best book in the 80s (usually with Chris Claremont’s X-Men being the other option) because NEW TEEN TITANS was just that good. So the glee I got in seeing these two creators working on these characters set in this time period was just wonderful.
The other awesome thing about this book was the George Perez art. No one can cram as much into a page and not only avoid making the entire thing messy but actually produce gorgeous art. Perez is my all-time favorite comic book artist and he did not disappoint with the book. And the different inkers (Mike Perkins, Al Vey and Perez himself) all did a great job making their work blend to the point that it is hard to tell who inked what pages.
As much as I loved the idea behind this book I do have to admit to be less than overwhelmed by the central villain of this book. As a long time fan I was hoping to see one of the villains from this era in Titans lore to be featured. Deathstroke would have been perfect as the main villain and I think the story could have been rejiggered to accommodate him especially after reading how many changes were made to the story over the years.
I also was a little disappointed by some of the dialog. It comes across as very dated and overly melodramatic. I would chalk it up to just how things were in the times that this story was set but having just not too long ago re-read The Judas Contract I know that the dialog in this book was noticeably stiff.
Danny Chase is the worst comic book creation in the history of comics. What went through Wolfman’s head when creating this little bastard is a mystery to me but if the idea was to create the douchiest douche to ever see print then he succeeded. There is not one redeemable quality in this snide, annoying character and this book would have been much better without him.
And what was up with all of those bad hairdos? There were mullets and fried perms and Jheri curls and asymmetrical blowouts all over this book. It was like an old episode of Dancin’ on Air made two-dimensional. The 80s was a frightening time, children.
I enjoyed GAMES for a lot of different reasons (nostalgia, Perez’s art) and the story is fine but that is about it and fine is not what I was looking for when I sat down to read this graphic novel. I wanted to like this book more but I just can’t see past the flaws of it. If this book had been drawn by anyone else I would probably rate it much lower but Perez drawing The Titans is enough for me to go higher than I probably should. Ah nostalgia!!!