Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Tony S. Daniels (p), Kevin Conrad and Norm Rapmund (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
The Unified (sort of) teams of the Teen Titans and the Doom Patrol take on the Brotherhood of Evil and the Brain's newly cloned body. Also, the Doom Patrol confronts its leader about his past and how he truly perceives the rest of the team. Finally, Robin and Cassandra grieve for Connor in a most human way...
Okay, I want to start this review with the cover. The cover leads us to believe that "Hell Hath No Fury Like Kid Devil," and this is true. I believe this because the Fury of Hell is not exceedingly whiny and pathetically mopey. Oh, and let's not forget indecisive. Seriously, I was expecting Kid Devil to go all out. To show the reader why he deserves to be a member of the Teen Titans. Sadly, the exact opposite happens, and I truly couldn't care less what happened to him. Maybe that's what Geoff is trying to portray, some extremely flawed young hero with his own case of hero worship. Okay, that's fantastic. But don't let the cover hint that he's going to have some sort of defining moment when all he does is whine and pout through an entire issue.
Secondly, this entire run on the Teen Titans has been as much about the Doom Patrol as it has our merry band of youngsters in tights. If ya love the Doom Patrol (both of ya) go ahead and add on another half bullet to this review! Seriously! I'm that kind of guy. But for the rest of the world, the whole conflict within the Doom Patrol is just a bunch of X-Men rejects (Oh, am I gonna get angry E-mails about that...maybe) flapping their gums about how Xavier..., I mean, the Chief, hasn't always been straight with them. Big Whoop. I guess it's just because I don't really know or care about these characters makes their problems seem a little less interesting than the other storylines in the book.
As for the Titans themselves, all of the characters have good moments in this book, with the exception of Kid Devil. Ravager is still a sexy bitch and knows it, Gar realizes that the Doom Patrol might not be more of a family than the Titans after all, Vic realizes that he is the emotional center of the team, even though he was out of commission for over a year, and Cassie and Robin....well let's just say getting over Conner is a lot harder than anyone thought it would be. It's a powerful moment, mostly because it feels real and not because it's any sort of fan service. The scene saved the book for me; it was really mediocre up until that point, but this makes me want to stick around, unlike some of DC's other One Year Later titles (Birds of Prey, Nightwing, Green Arrow, and Robin, I'm looking at you all.)
The saving grace of this book is Geoff Johns. The man is talented. He has a gift for writing dialogue and making his characters act like humans and not talking heads. For example, the way Superboy's costume hangs below Titans Tower in Tim's cloning room reminds the reader so much of Jason Todd's costume in the Batcave. Things like that let the reader delve into the psyche and heart of Tim to expose how much he grieves for his best friend. Even the fight scene at the beginning of the book is well done, if not particularly memorable. Though the relationship between the Brain and Mallah is....well, it's creepy even for a open minded guy like me. Not Johns' fault, not the book's, it's just creepy, even though Johns sells it well, going for subtlety instead of bonking the reader over the head with it. Well done.
The art is fine, not memorable, but serves its purpose well enough. The change in inkers isn't drastic like it was on The Flash, but it is noticeable. Thankfully, the change in inkers also coincides with a change in mood to make things work better. The expressions in particular are well done, from capturing the hurt in the Doom Patrol's eyes as they realize what the Chief really thinks, to the mopey blank expression Kid Devil has on his face throughout the entire book (sorry, I couldn't help but take another shot at the
poor guy). The faces match the characters' personality just fine.
All in all, if you ignore the cover and the fact that there is WAYYYYYYY too much Doom Patrol stuff here, there is a lot to like in this issue of Teen Titans. Unfortunately, I predict the day Johns' last issue ships will also be the last time I pick up an issue of this book. But for now it's looking like this series really does have a future, and a sense of direction.
What did you think of this book?
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