Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on Teen Titans #7

I’m starting to have problems remembering what actually happens after I read issue of Teen Titans. There’s very little forward motion. I’m not sure that’s a problem, since the artwork and characterization are two things I enjoy more than the actual plot. But I can see why this might not be everybody’s favorite comic book.

That said, this issue did have a real clear point. If you also read issues of Superboy (and you know I do!), he was captured at the end of his last issue by N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Which, despite being a “nefarious organization” is also … super not fun to type. I hope the Titans stomp them out soon! But I’m getting ahead of myself. So Superboy is captured, and we see Wonder Girl at the end of that issue breaking in to rescue him. This issue fleshes out that revelation, with Tim (ahem) I mean, Red Robin convincing the rest of the team to go in after him. Only everyone remembers two issues back when he tried to kill all of them. Even Skitter who doesn’t have a normal brain isn’t in a big rush to leap to action. So Tim is all, well... I’m going anyway. See you jerks later. Then everybody feels bad and follows him. Putting aside the ridiculousness of that situation, it does give it a distinct teen feel to this book. Tim is obviously the one in charge who’s got his crap together. Why wouldn’t the rest of them go wherever he goes?

So they break into the base. In an odd timing issue, Wonder Girl (don’t call her that!) has already fought Ravager which... how? How can the end of a Superboy issue point to a Titans issue which points to the next Superboy issue having happened already? Oh damn. Just give myself a massive headache. Moving on. Rose Wilson is defeated. Now Cassie is fighting some dude with parasitic tendrils coming out the back of him. It’s super gross.

Bunker, with Skitter his new BFF in tow, back up Kid Flash with the actual rescuing of Superboy. He’s initially pretty confused about why the team he tried to kill is attempting to free him, but after awhile he just decides to go with it. And who wouldn’t? When a nefarious organization is hellbent on killing you, and then a team of teen heroes you tried to kill saves you, it’s time to saddle up and get the hell out of dodge.

The real interesting part comes when Red Robin, who has sequestered himself from the others, breaks into the mainframe and begins downloading information on other teen superheroes. Solstice appears and immediately recognizes that Tim knew a lot more about what was going on in the facility- including that kids were being tortured and experimented on- then the rest of the team realized. Tim takes a very “Batman” approach to it, explaining that in order to get to this point sacrifices had to be made, yadda yadda yadda. Solstice calls him on his crap; saving lives should have been his primary focus. The fact that it wasn’t, and that she has been left in this weird crackly floating form is a testament to his intense Not Caring. It’s a short number of panels, but both characters kind of make their point. You also realize that while a lot of the other characters act like kids, Red Robin and Solstice are the arguably most mature members of the team. It’s also nice to see some conflict on a philosophical level. More of this, please.

I'm pretty happy with Teen Titans. I'm a little miffed that the penciler might be changing soon, but I'll reserve judgement until it happens. Definitely pick this issue up if you get the chance.

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