"The New Teen Titans Part 2"
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Tony Daniel (p), Kevin Conrad (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: Wonder Girl breaks into Titan's Tower in search of information about the Brotherhood of Evil. After a brief tussle between Wonder Girl and Ravager, Cyborg convinces Wonder Girl to work with them in tracking the villains down. Shortly thereafter, the Titans fly to New York to confront the Brotherhood and during the battle Kid Devil is critically injured.
Commentary: This book gets mainly because of the scene at the beginning with Robin and Ravager. I didn't quite get what Johns was doing at first, but once Kid Devil walked in just as Robin had managed to handcuff her, I got it and laughed out loud, which confused the heck out of the people who were in the break room with me while I was reading this issue. In my opinion, this is one of the top ten moments in comics from the past year.
"The New Teen Titans" is following Geoff Johns' pattern for the series: do the unexpected and make it work. All joking about mistaken bondage scenes aside, Johns has put his skills at making his characters seem like they're real to good use, and I am digging the fact that Ravager and Kid Devil are on the team. I dig it so much that as much as I like Cyborg, I took exception, as a reader, to his insinuations that the two aren't Titans. It seemed kind of unfair, especially since he's been out of the game for a year.
The wrinkles Johns has added to Kid Devil and Ravager are interesting. The fact that Kid Devil apparently checks in with Blue Devil four times a day makes him sympathetic, and I get the feeling that he has a need to feel accepted. Ravager also wants attention, and I thought that the fear of Slade finding her added depth to her as a character. For one reason or another, both of these characters need the Titans, which is why they fit in so well with the group.
I'm glad that Wonder Girl decided to come back to the team even if it is temporary. I have to wonder if it is temporary since she was with the group when they made a cameo in Battle for Bludhaven, but I'm willing to wait until the story ends and see which character is still with the group. It was interesting to see her drop her guard even for a moment over Superboy's death. Robin stood stoically in the background, but even he responded to her pain even in a whisper. This was an important scene for these three characters and allowed them to bond after their time apart.
Of course, Robin is trying to recreate Superboy, which could complicate matters. Gotta love those sub-plots.
The fight with the Brotherhood was interesting, and I really liked the two page spread of the Titans as they arrived on the scene. I'm not overly familiar with the Brotherhood post-1987, so this was my first real experience with the group. The members had some interesting abilities, and the fight played out well. The brutal end of the fight surprised me, which it really shouldn't have, considering how violent a lot of Johns' fight scenes have been lately. Then again, the fight went pretty much by the numbers until the moment Plasmus grabbed Kid Devil. Because of this, Kid Devil's injuries had more dramatic weight and the fact that he mentioned phone calls to Blue Devil only added to that feeling.
In The End: The Doom Patrol. A really awesome looking Doom Patrol. I've never been a huge fan of the team, but this looks like a great line-up. I'm assuming that is Mal in the blue cloak and as far as introductions go, Geoff Johns nailed this one. So far the story arc is coming along nicely, and I am enjoying the characters Johns has brought into the book. With all of the creative shake-ups that happened during "One Year Later," I am very glad that Johns decided to keep this book.
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