Retrospective: Teen Titans vol 3 (part 1)

I’m a fan of the Teen Titans, especially the latest incarnation that went from 2003-2011 and as this relaunch makes it seem their entire history may be erased, I wanted to give them a farewell starting with issues 1-7 (also collected in trade form as “A Kid’s Game” or the soon to be released Teen Titans Omnibus 1).  Like usual, beware of spoilers.

First, I want to point out that I could be wrong when I state that the current teams history is being erased and we won’t know for sure until at least the new Teen Titans #1 comes out on the 28th of this month.

Geoff Johns begins the Teen Titans with Superboy skipping class and Superman soon finding him to bring an end to it.  Before ushering Conner back to school though, he relays an invitation from Cyborg that the Teen Titans is starting back up.  Superboy states his unease at joining a team again due to the death of two people while he was part of Young Justice which includes Donna Troy, but tells Superman he’d think about it.  A similar message is sent from Batman to Robin (Tim Drake), while Jay and Wally in Keystone are arguing over if they want Impulse (Bart) to take part in it.  Jay is for the idea, while Wally is against it thinking Bart is too immature.  This is actually the moment we find out Bart can actually remember everything he reads at super speed which shocks both Jay and Wally as they soon forget if they do it.  Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) actually has her invitation given by Starfire for Wonder Woman refused to do it.

They head to the new Tower in San Francisco Bay and we get a very awkward moment of Beast Boy hitting on Cassie which just seems wrong to me.  To be honest, I hate Beast Boy the majority of the time in this Teen Titans run, but I’ll get to that more in later reviews.  All the new members soon arrive, and we can easily tell that there is an unease between them.  They then go to bed save Robin who apparently never sleeps and Conner who just can’t sleep.  This is the moment another nice bit of info gets passed out, and that is Conner’s human genes actually came from Lex Luther.  Superboy of course doesn’t want to do anything but ignore it, though Robin steals a bit of hair to do his own testing to verify it.

A lot really happens in the first seven issues that it’s too much to get into detail on all of it so I’ll rush through the major points.  Bart recovers and goes through the entire San Fran Library to become Kid Flash.  We find out Deathstroke is really being controlled by Jericho who was thought dead.  Wonder Girl gets her lasso from Ares, and Raven is brought back to life and sadly not given any clothes (I’m not sure if Raven nude is really needed, even if blood is technically covering her) until she tries to escape and asks the Titans for help.

This is a great issue, but my favorite part really has to be when Wonder Woman shows up to try and force Cassie to leave.  This soon causes Kory to appear who soon blasts Wonder Woman starting of course one big fight.  This only escalates when the rest of the Justice League (Batman, Superman, John Stewart, and Wally West) shows up and the fight escalates between all of them.  This goes on until Nightwing actually appears to put a stop to everything.

Geoff Johns does fantastic writing here.  All the characters feel like they act and behave like who they are while the story doesn’t have any dull points.  Everyone working on the art does a great job as well and combined with John’s writing this makes for a really great story of the start of the new Teen Titans team.  This story in fact is one of my favorites of this TT group, if not my favorite and I highly recommend people read through this.


About xxadverbxx

I'm a fan of comics. I use to love DC, but events pretty much starting with the New 52 had pushed me off of them for years. Lately though titles like Gotham Academy and We Are Robin have brought me back to them. I'm much more still a Marvel fan though at this moment who I moved to since New 52 slowly kept pushing me away from DC. Often a fan of X-Men titles while I've really been loving Spider-Gwen series. Film wise I'm upset at DC though I really really want them to do good. At least their TV series are mostly enjoyable (though Arrow has dipped in quality), while I'm a huge fan of the Marvel films. Also, I still really hate Dan Didio and still view him as at least most of what has been going wrong with DC comic wise lately.

5 thoughts on “Retrospective: Teen Titans vol 3 (part 1)

  1. I will admit I have very small knowledge for any of the characters besides Tim before their Teen Titans run. But I do really enjoy this and think you are undermining how Conner is written in it. Well mostly at least, for he does have some “horny jock” moments through the series. Then again, what teenager wouldn’t get horny with Starfire walking around like that or later on having Rose wearing barely nothing at all?

  2. For all that Johns revitalized the Titans after a long period languishing – and the Titans are probably the best vehicle for Johns’ brand of juvenile, angst-ridden storytelling – I will never forgive him for what he did to Bart (in particular), Cassie and others. He took well-rounded, unique characters and turned them into disposable, cookie-cutter teen characters.

    Johns does a lot of things well. Writing happy, well-adjusted, or even mildly humane characters is not among them.

    • Very few are well-rounded – that obviously doesn’t come until much later in life for most people. But even fewer are as angst-ridden, destructive, reductive caricatures as some of Johns’ characters.

      It is particularly telling to me that, after Johns’ take on these characters, many of them ‘suddenly’ became redundant, boring characters who functionally disappeared. Of the four YJ members on Johns’ Titans team, only Tim was recognizable as the character he had been – and it’s worth noting that only Tim went on to have a prosperous, post-Johns shelf-life. Bart was kicked around as a dull Kid Flash and a dull Flash before dying. Kon angsted for months before dying. Cassie angsted for years in between being a rote love interest for Tim and vowing to get revenge for the deaths of Kon and Bart.

      It’s all just so… typical. You could replace any character with any other character and the stories would be equally meaningless. I give Johns credit for revitalizing the Titans and crafting a mythology-laden story that would be well-suited for the CW – and that isn’t meant as an insult. But he destroyed those characters, quite possibly permanently.

      If the reboot let’s Connor, Cassie and Bart start fresh, uninfluenced by Johns’ Titans, it will be absolutely worth it.

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