Teen Titans #14
The Origin of Wonder Girl
Teen Titans has had a rather inconsistent run starting off horribly but becoming better with the current story arc. Though I despised Lobdell’s earliest issues of Teen Titans, I’ve found myself growing fond of the central three characters as they set off on their own to help Cassie harness and then reclaim her armor. Does this issue expand further on the chemistry between Red Robin, Superboy, and Wonder Girl, or does this trio of Titans fail to please?
In this issue, the titan trinity is attacked by Diesel, Miguel and Bart whine, Kiran meets a mysterious character, and Red Robin and Superboy do battle with armor warriors while Cassie faces her old flame.
Most of the chemistry I loved so much from the last issue disappeared in this one. We still get a tiny bit of interaction between Tim, Superboy, and Cassie, but the issue spends a lot of time dealing with Cassie’s conflict with Diesel which was only somewhat interesting and Red Robin and Superboy’s conflict with some plot convenient cannon fodder.
The armor warriors were rather uninspired and boring enemies, and quite frankly, Ale Garza’s art did not really make a good vehicle for the fight. Superboy swoops at bad guys while Red Robin flaps at them with his wings. Yawn.
I somewhat enjoyed the relationship between Wonder Girl and Diesel in the last issue, (statutory rape withstanding) but the conflict between Cassie and Diesel did not really work for me. It may have come across a little better if I could have seen Diesel’s expression and seen his emotion, but since the silent armor completely covers his face, it was difficult to determine if he was feeling anything at this taught meeting other than greed and overconfidence. Whereas Cassie seems to be pouring her heart out, Diesel is unreadable. As if in effort to make up for this lack of dramatic tension, we are treated with a lot of red squiggles which are apparently representative of some sort of energy field put out by the armor, but it really adds nothing to the scene for me. In fact, it seems to take away the seriousness of the moment in its flamboyance. Furthermore, I have seen no point at which Cassie went from thief to hero, so the whole idea that she is somehow the moral superior over Diesel is somewhat in doubt in my mind. Granted, stealing is not as bad as murder, but it still makes you a bad girl in my book.
The Return of Those Other Guys
It was nice, somewhat, to see the rest of the team reappear since they have been missing for two months. The interaction between Miguel and Bart was entertaining though it also seemed a little pointless. The duoare bored without constant stimulus, and Bart likes Kiran. I think we have already covered that. Nonetheless, I always enjoy seeing Miguel because he seems to be the only character really interested in acting like a friend to other members of the team. Everybody else seems to be treating the other members of the team like people who just happen to live in the same dorm as them. Kiran, for her part, seems to be having some interesting developments. I cannot figure out what Lance is trying to do with her, but I figure we will see a return to this after Death of a Family.
Death of a Drake?
I have to say, I’m about pooped out with all the “Death of a Family” tie ins. At this point, my brain wants to explode every time I see Joker make yet another time consuming, pointless gesture to disturb the Bat Family. The Joker is beginning to seem less like a mastermind and more like an annoying stalker. “You slept with the Bat. Let me float this balloon next to you. You worked with the Bat. Let me make a doll shaped like you.” I’m probably being overly cynical on this point based on the fact that I see a “Death” issue every week and Catwoman still burns in my mind, but the entire last two pages felt like filler…along with many of the other pages of this issue.
If you are a big fan of Teen Titans or you have been following this arc so far, go ahead and pick up this issue. This is still the strongest arc of this series so far, but that is saying very little. If you are on the fence or considering buying this because of Death of a Family, do not bother.
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