“The New Teen Titans, Part Four”
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Tony S. Daniel (p), Kevin Conrad & Norm Rapmund (i), Tanya & Richard Horie (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
That’s how I’d sum up the conclusion to “The New Teen Titans.” The plot of the storyline is nicely resolved, and the stage is set for the next few issues. Geoff Johns couldn’t have done a better job at reestablishing not only the Titans, but also the Doom Patrol. Everything in this issue works, crafting a brilliant conclusion and an awesome issue.
The story starts right in the middle of the action, with the Titans and the Doom Patrol facing off against the Brotherhood of Evil, led by a newly embodied Brain. After a shocking ending for the bad guys, the Doom Patrol must deal with its wayward leader as the Titans must regain the trust of a new member. When all is said and done, we get another look at what happened to the Titans during the missing year. The opening fight is particularly amusing, with the Doom Patrol and the Brotherhood displaying their unusual powers.
The best part of this issue, and what is quickly becoming the best part of the entire series, is the characterization. Robin’s obsession with cloning Superboy leads to rash actions during the fight with the Brotherhood, as he desperately tries to figure out how to get the secrets of cloning. Meanwhile, Wonder Girl’s new anti-social aspects slowly break down, thanks to Cyborg. The “tin-man with a heart” slowly rediscovers why he is a key part of the team. Kid Devil goes through some moments of crisis, but comes out of it with his good friend Ravager. Deathstroke’s daughter shows some very caring emotions that contradict her “bad girl” attitude. Then there’s the Doom Patrol, a group of people basically saddled with various forms of inferiority complex. Everyone in the Patrol really has a believable reason to hate themselves, and the sudden reveal of who takes over for them is handled perfectly and gives the character a happy ending.
Another wonderful feature of the series is the art. Tony Daniel is fastly becoming my favorite artist. His figures are realistically proportioned, highly detailed, and wonderfully drawn. He also manages to go totally abstract, with his size changing Elasti-Girl and morbidly strange Brotherhood. Even the oddly misleading cover is brilliant.
All in all, this series is continuously brilliant. Johns and Daniel deliver a wonderfully paced story that concludes an equally wonderful story arc. The end sets the stage for future issue, which, if the final few pages are any indication, will be completely incredible.
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