Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Mike McKone (p), Marlo Alquiza (inks)
Plot: Conner refuses to pursue the revelation that some of his DNA may be Luthorian, while Tim does not. Bart deeply desires that everyone take the weekend training idea seriously, while Cassie has doubts. An explosion at nearby Alcatraz interrupts everyone’s angst, as they must go about protecting the tourists. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s a trap.
Comments: I guess the pretense of Gateway City (Byrne’s ersatz San Fran, and original home to Cassie and her mother) has been dropped, as this week we’re clearly in the city by the bay. Does that mean there’s a New York as well as a Gotham and a Metropolis in the DC-verse?
This issue carries on the promise of the debut, mixing the innovative with the tried and true. While this is truly a young team again (and Gar especially and distressingly has thus far shown zero character growth since he joined the title some 30 years ago), there has been an attempt to integrate it with the Titans’ rich lore. Kory and Vic are around to act as the old guard, the trainers who are bringing the next generation up to speed. This is a positive light to see the often deeply troubled Starfire in, and it’s also nice that Vic has abandoned all the alien tech and reverted to his much more accessible and visually dynamic bionic form.
Cassie, meanwhile, has to carry on the legacy of a fallen comrade, and she’s still mourning Troia’s demise. McKone, however, isn’t drawing the brat of the Byrne WW run, but a young woman coming into full awareness of her powers on a variety of personal and professional levels. She’s one of the brightest spots in current DC comics for fans of heroines, and that’s from these two issues alone.
Tim is Nightwing Jr. (enough so that I hope some details of individuality may yet emerge, or else why not just use Nightwing?) and he’s going to make enemies of his new friends if he keeps it up. Just for that old school flair, the villain this month is fan favorite Deathstroke, who appears in chilling (though cliched) bookends to frame the story.
McKone’s turning in his best art yet on this title, toning down his distortions to capture a truly heroic looking group who have yet to explode into confident action as a team. If Johns can avoid the most obvious sorts of cliched superteam plotting, this book might truly become as classic as the Wolfman/Perez era it quotes.
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