"Clash of the Teen Titans"
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Mike McKone (p), Marlo Alquiza (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
Last issue revealed that the assaults by Deathstroke on the Teen Titans were being directed by the assassin’s son and former Titan, Jericho. Apparently Jericho instinctively used his ability to become incorporeal and possessed Deathstroke after Deathstroke murdered him. Jericho lay dormant within Deathstroke’s subconscious, surfacing with the goal of ending the current incarnation of the Teen Titans before another young hero would die as he did. Jericho’s ability to jump from one host to another by making eye contact has the Teen Titans chasing their tails as he leaves Deathstroke’s body and moves in succession from one team member to another. The battle is resolved by the sudden appearance of former Teen Titan, Raven, and her abrupt disappearance presents a wider mystery involving a cult and her current whereabouts.
Much like Johns’ other team books, I have really been enjoying the dynamics of this series and this issue continues to deliver on the goods. Action, adventure, revelations, mysteries, teen angst and rebellion; this issue has it all. Much like the series overall, I can not think of one bad thing to say about this issue. Johns’ plot and dialog are spot on. I especially like his Robin, with Kid Flash running a close second (heh). Now that’s a race I don’t even think we would see in the Silver Age.
The ensuing battle against former Teen Titan Jericho gives Johns the opportunity to show off Kid Flash’s new intelligence and resolve; Wonder Girl’s mysterious new lasso given to her by the Olympic god of war Ares and Superboy’s latent abilities mirroring those of his clone parent Superman. The issue is capped off with small moments revealing the relationships between the characters and an abrupt smooches-interruptus between Superboy and Wonder Girl when Wonder Woman demands she leave the Titans and return home.
I don’t have a negative thing to say about the art either. Great cover and McKone’s interior pencils are action packed, dynamic and fluid, enabling the reader to eagerly follow the story with ease. No rough points on Alquiza’s inks: crisp and sharp. Jeromy Cox’s colors compliment the mood and accentuate the action of the core characters, not by making them too bright or gaudy, but by muting the tones of the backgrounds and pedestrian traffic.
For those not familiar with the characters in the Teen Titans past or present, it doesn’t matter. For an ongoing title I have found Teen Titans quite accessible and engaging under Johns’ keyboard and would recommend jumping in anytime.
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