Thursday, November 30, 2006

Comic Book Review: Teen Titans #41

The Teen Titans is always a great read. This title has become one of The Revolution’s favorite reads. Unfortunately, it appears that we are in store for some guest artists on this issue instead of Tony Daniel’s wonderful art. However, I’m sure the story will still be great. Let’s go ahead and do this review

Creative Team
Writer
: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Paco Diaz & Ryan Benjamin
Inkers: Jonathan Glapion, Michael Lopez, Edwin Rosell, Saleem Crawford & Vincente Cifuentes.

Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Jericho brawling with Bombshell. Unfortunately for Jericho, he can’t “hop” into Bombshell’s body since her metal over her eyes reflects Jericho’s gaze. So, Jericho hops into Wonder Girl’s body and proceeds to lay a serious beatdown on Bombshell.

We cut to Miss Martian breaking free and taking out Bombshell’s soldiers. Miss Martian then frees the other Titans. Wonder Girl/Jericho punches Bombshell through the wall and their fight spills outside where the other Titans are located. The Titans realize that it is going to take their combined efforts to take down Bombshell. With that, they call out their rally cry “Titans Together!” The Titans finally start acting like a team and start kicking some serious butt on Bombshell and her soldiers.

Miss Martian then comes up with a plan. She says that if they get Bombshell’s metal super hot and then super cold it should break. With that, Kid Devil fires up white hot and roasts Bombshell. Then Raven uses her soul self to cool off Bombshell. The result is Bombshell’s metal shell crumbling off her skin. Wonder Girl and Ravager perform their version of Colossus and Wolverine’s “speedball special” as Wondy throws Ravager at Bombshell.

Ravager’s swords pierce Bombshell’s cracked metal. Ravager stands over a beaten Bombshell and rants that Bombshell called her a traitor. That Ravager is an easy target. That Bombshell said Ravager would never be anything but the daughter of Deathstroke. Ravager lifts up her swords and rams them into the ground on both sides of Bombshell. Ravager then says that Bombshell was wrong about her. Jericho thinks how he saw something good in his sister’s eye.

We shift forward and the Department of Metahuman Affairs is on the scene. Sarge Steel and Diana Prince are talking with the Titans. Sarge Steel tells them that Bombshell was hired by someone to kidnap Jericho. The Titans then welcome Miss Martian back to the team saying that she belongs with them rather than being by herself. Raven tells Cyborg that she will also rejoin the Titans. Raven then tells Cyborg that there is something strange about Kid Devil. That his soul is in jeopardy.

Robin then pulls Wonder Girl to the side and tells her that if Raven creates a new body for Jericho then maybe she can bring back Conner.

We zip forward to the next day at Titans Tower. Jericho and Ravager are taking a walk together. Ravager doesn’t know sign language, so Jericho writes a note saying “It’s nice to meet you!!” Ravager smiles and says it is nice to meet him, too.

We then cut to Deathstroke at Titans Island in New York. Deathstroke mentions that he is the person who hired Bombshell to get Jericho. Deathstroke says that he wants both his children back. Jericho and Ravager. Deathstroke says he knows just how to do it. We then see a table with photos of a new team that Deathstroke is putting together that includes Batgirl, Risk, Sun Girl, Match, Inertia, Kind Crusader, Joker’s daughter and Riddler’s daughter.

Comments
The Good
: Nice. Teen Titans #41 was another sweet read. Johns just keeps rolling out nothing but quality issues each and every month on this title. Teen Titans #41 was perfectly paced and had an enjoyable blend of action and drama. This issue was the payoff. We finally saw the Titans come together as the family that they are. It was satisfying to see this team finally pull itself back.

Johns has taken plenty of time to deconstruct the Titans in order to reveal exactly what makes the Titans so special. The bond of friendship between young heroes that makes them a family rather than a team. Each member is reminded of what being a Titan is truly about. Johns puts the pieces together in the dramatic scene where the Titans rally around each other and finally start acting like a team.

Johns serves up his usual excellent dialogue. Johns also continues to show off his excellent feel for the personalities of the various Titans. The chemistry between the Titans is incredible. I loved the little touches like Raven asking Kid Devil not to look at her. Clearly, his physical appearance is a little too similar to Trigon for Raven to deal being near him.

And speaking of Kid Devil, Johns continues to get me to like this character more and more. Johns finally lets Kid Devil strut his stuff by showing a massive power level that the reader had no idea he had. Watching Kid Devil go white hot was impressive. I also liked the little teaser that Johns threw out there about Raven saying that Kid Devil’s soul was in trouble. That should make for some interesting further character development.

I like that Miss Martian and Raven have re-joined the team. Raven should always be a Titan, so I’m glad she is back. Miss Martian is a new addition that has plenty of potential. Even though I don’t enjoy derivative heroes, I have to admit that Miss Martian is pretty interesting. She isn’t a true derivative hero and has a personality and image very distinct from Martian Manhunter. I’m curious to see what Johns has in store for her character. Plus, you know that little Miss Martian is hiding a pretty big secret.

Now, let me explain my position on derivative heroes. I don’t include a legacy hero or a traditional sidekick hero in the same group as a true derivative hero. Legacy heroes are often pretty cool characters and usually have their own identity and are simply honoring a hero that comes before them. Good examples of a legacy hero would be Stargirl, Mr. Terrific, and Damage.

A sidekick hero is usually a junior version of their mentor. They sometimes have a totally different look from the mentor. Good examples of the traditional sidekick hero would be Robin and Arsenal.

A derivative hero is one that has basically no independent character from the root hero that they derive from. A derivative hero usually wears a costume based on the root hero and has a codename based on the root hero. A true derivative hero also usually has the exact same powers and/or abilities of the root hero. Good examples of a true derivative hero would be Batgirl, Batwoman, Supergirl, Superboy, Aqualad, and Aquagirl. These derivative heroes generally are female or kid versions of the root hero. And for the most part, they lack their own identity and I usually find them to be boring.

I loved the scene where Ravager shows her true colors. Ravager is a hero. And I’m thrilled that Johns took the time to fully rehabilitate Ravager’s character from a psychotic villain into a true hero. It has been enjoyable to see her character mature and grow into the hero that she is today. Johns has really gotten me to like this character. I had never had any interest in Ravager before, but Johns has done the impossible and made me into a Ravager fan.

And it was great seeing Ravager’s brother, Jericho, back in action once again. I have always like Jericho and I’m thrilled that Johns has brought him back. And Jericho and Ravager being on the Titans is a great way for Johns to bring back Deathstroke onto this title in order to kick off a massive story arc. It is going to be very interesting to see how the Titans deal with Deathstroke’s new team of teen heroes.

And speaking of those teen heroes, I dig the line up for the Titans East. You have several great second generation characters in Joker’s daughter, Riddler’s daughter and Batgirl. Throw in an ex-Titan in Risk. Add two evil clones of two ex-Titans in Inertia and Match. Plus two characters I don’t recognize in Sun Girl and Kind Crusader and you definitely have a very intriguing cast of characters. This team has tons of potential and should be rather entertaining.

And Johns had Robin mention what I’m sure many readers had already been thinking. If Raven could bring back Jericho, then why couldn’t she bring back Conner? It is a perfectly logical question for Robin to think. It is going to be highly interesting to see where Johns goes with this plotline.

The Bad: The artwork was very unimpressive. I hate artwork by committee and once I saw that this issue had two pencilers and five inkers, I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with the artwork. The art was inconsistent from panel to panel. It was very pedestrian and created a rather average look for this issue.

Overall: Teen Titans #41 was another excellent story. Johns gives us vintage Titans goodness as out team of heroes finally come together as a family. It has been a long time coming and it is great to see the Titans standing together as one once again. The artwork was forgettable, but Johns’ quality writing more than made up for it. I highly recommend Teen Titans. This is one of DC’s better titles and this is the perfect time to pick up this title as we are going to be kicking off a new massive story arc soon.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

your wrong if you look closely at the hair of the person speaking you notice Miss Martain makes the comment about Kid Devil's soul

Rokk Krinn said...

I've already put this issue into the Bunker's storage so I'll have to take your word for it.