Sunday, April 18, 2010

Teen Titans #34-37 (May-August 2006)

There was an Infinite Crisis, which altered reality and killed a great many heroes, including several Titans. One Year Later, long time team member Cyborg awoke from a coma, struggling with digital memory fragments from his lost time, of a poorly constructed series of replacement Titans teams. One involved Dove (Dawn Granger) holding back Hawk (Holly Granger) from attacking Aquagirl (Lorena Marquez), herself checked by Offspring. While Speedy (Mia Dearden) and Zachary Zatara looked on, Hawk mocked Aquagirl with, "We need kids with real power like Zatara and Miss Martian!"

Vic Stone eventually awoke to a whole other line-up, including Ravager (Rose Wilson), Kid Devil, and Robin (Tim Drake). Wendy and Marvin, the current caretakers of Titans Tower and technological geniuses, had helped to repair Cyborg.

Cyborg almost immediately joined the Teen Titans on a case involving the Brotherhood of Evil, which brought them into contact with former member Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark). Cassie resented Tim for abandoning her and the team for a year after the death of Superboy (Kon-El), and refused to return. Unbeknownst to Cassie, Tim had been trying to clone "Conner" in secret.

Cyborg made contact with the Doom Patrol, intent on pulling his old friend Beast Boy back into the fold, and forming a "real" Titans team. Sensing her role as a team member was in danger for just that reason, Ravager tried unsuccessfully to seduce Robin, fearing that alone she would again fall prey to her degenerate father Slade Wilson. After all, Rose had only become a Titan at the insistence of Nightwing, who had been forced to look after her following a confrontation with Deathstroke.

Visiting Titans Tower for information and with very little coaxing from Robin and Cyborg, Wonder Girl agreed to work with the team on the Brotherhood case. In a follow-up encounter, the Titans learned the Brotherhood were developing a clone body for their leader, the Brain. A confrontation left Kid Devil gravely injured, and Ravager distraught over potentially losing her only friend on the team. However, the Doom Patrol stepped in to help. The Titans followed the group of misfits back to Prague, where they were headquartered at Dayton Manor. Robin noted a pattern of emotional abuse and domineering from the Doom Patrol's Chief, and following the recovery of Kid Devil, was anxious to disassociate himself.

In another battle with the Brotherhood, it was revealed that the Chief had been behind all the accidents that befell the Doom Patrol's members, as well as the Brain's own. The Chief had also made a bid to steal Kid Devil for his team. After the Brain's clone body failed, the Titans confronted the Chief, and Mento removed him as team leader. Beast Boy chose to stay on, to help his family, while pressing Cyborg to tend to his own.

Cyborg reviewed security tapes made during his coma, and learned his teammates, many that he'd not previously known, were using him as a comforting sounding board. Zatara revealed he was hardly the world's greatest teenage magician while a certain girl was around to distract him. "She drives me crazy!" Meanwhile, in her first appearance, Miss Martian confessed " not understand Earth's sense of humor. I thought Ravager would laugh waking up to a pie in the face. I saw them laugh on television. I was going to tell them about me, but I think I need to wait. Ravager was awfully angry. But I bet you would understand. They say such nice things about you. The Tin Man with the greatest heart."

Wonder Girl told Cyborg she would return to the team. She then learned about Robin's experiments at cloning Conner, and the pair shared a cry and an unexpected kiss, then more crying.

"New Teen Titans: Parts 1-4" by Geoff Johns, Tony Daniel, Kevin Conrad, Art Thibert, Andy Lanning and Norm Rapmund.


Count Drunkula said...

I did not remember her first appearance outfit looking so... revealing. There's definitely a lot more green skin showing there than in later appearances, where her costume seems to evoke a prep-school-girl look.

Diabolu Frank said...

Blessedly, she took to wearing something more like a polo shirt later on. The cleavage remains throughout her earliest appearances, but the one-off exposed shoulders and simple cape makes her look like she's stripping here.

Diabolu Frank said...

Oh-- and the exposed belly & loin cloth! I missed that at first. Sheesh, even her cape is a tawdry little thing.

LissBirds said...

While it's refreshing to the opposite side of the superheroines-and-amount-of-clothing debate, I can understand why a Martian is skimpily-clad, considering that's part of their culture, and if the males wear hardly any clothes, there shouldn't be a double standard. But on the other hand I do think the "teen" heroes should wear more clothes. Plus that little skirt she wears later on is just really cute and adds more to the role of innocent young newcomer that I'm assuming she plays.

The loincloth is just really awkward from a fashion standpoint. I think Edna Mode should show up in a comic book or two and give out fashion advice.

mathematicscore said...

Johns is more and more being a writer I like with reservations... My first taste was Infinite Crisis, which should have been a clue. :p

I like that he gave her a introduction with some humor, as that is keeping with J'onn circa JLI. Silliness is great.

Saranga said...

I love that scene. there's something really endearing about m'gann trying to bond with her teammates by putting a pie in rose's face. *snorts in laughter*

Poor m'gann. Rose would not be happy.

Diabolu Frank said...

Saranga, M'Gann is rapidly growing on me. The other Titans? Not so much.

M.C., Johns has been a writer I've liked with reservations since either his third year on JSA or his Avengers run, whichever comes first. He's exactly the kind of safe writer I'd want on Captain America-- having the jacked-up characters doing jacked-up stuff, but leaving the polly purehearts to bask in fan adoration. Johns is pretty predictable, with the only real curveballs being which C-listers he'll sacrifice with extreme prejudice to keep interest up. His popularity leaves him raggedy though. I can see where he meant to go with these Titans issues, for instance, but everything reads like a first draft of a slim plot that was only ever an excuse for his precious character moments anyway.