Superboy #1 is rebooting Superboy from scratch. That and answers from Scott Lobdell in a Comic Vine Q/A session also points that despite the new Universe having a Teen Titans, that the last incarnation of the team is having their history completely erased. So with that in mind, I’d like to continue with my retrospective taking a look at issues TT 1/2, and 8-15 (also collected currently in trade form Family Lost and Beast Boys & Girls).
After a slight timeline of events, we see Rose’s first appearance in this volume of Titans. Trying to live a normal life. That lasts until her uncle (calling himself Ravager) kills the family she was living with. The Titans arrive to save her based simply on an anonymous phone call, and after they fail and Ravager and Rose vanish, we get some rather padded exposition before being brought to some unknown place where Slade has his brother tied up. Slade basically asks Rose to kill her uncle and with no hesitation at all she goes right on ahead. Even for what just happened, for a girl who was trying so hard to have a normal life this feels a little weak to me having her so quickly leave that stuff behind.
We move to Gotham then to see a moment of Tim getting tired of lying to his dad about what he’s really doing. After that we get tossed straight to a fight with Mammoth (Superboy missing as he’s in detention – seems a weak excuse to why he isn’t there but it works). Clumsily we jump back to Tim talking to Batman where Bruce tells him not to trust Raven and not to tell his dad that he’s Robin. And clumsily we then get to the Tower where Robin and Superboy are showing up late for more exposition. The main point being that Alcatraz is being converted into a prison for meta humans before a briefing of Raven that soon turns into six full pages of her origin and history. Beyond this, we soon get brought to a Temple of Brother Blood that Slade and the new Ravager (Rose Wilson) are tearing up looking for Raven. I will warn now, volume 3 contains a good amount of stories either with people going after Raven, or dealing with Deathstroke to the point it (especially ones focusing on Raven) get a bit tiring.
Either way, we get to see Sebastian Blood the 9th be a pervert towards Raven (at least now she has clothes) and from here the story jumps all around. We keep seeing Rose killing Church of Blood members, Superboy have dog problems, Robin who some reason snuck a Batmobile to San Fran and let Bart drive it. There at least is a really cool scene where we get to see Cyborg completely disassembled and put back together. Finally though the team finds where Raven is and eventually saves her from both the Church of Blood and Deathstroke. Not to mention Jericho shows up again but that’s all good for apparently you can trap souls on a 3.5″ floppy disc. This is also the issue where Rose rips out her eye to try and please Deathstroke.
To move on from that story, if you are like me and have picked up Beast Boys & Girls you will be treated to a pretty good Beast Boy story with cameos from Bette Kane and Dick Grayson written by Ben Raab and Geoff Johns. I’m mostly trying to focus on just the TT issues though, but it is a nice side story for Beast Boy even if it doesn’t really tie to anything later on. The trade does contain issues 13-15 that I’ll hit quickly. Mostly for we get Beast Boy’s origin story, see the Titans have some down time, and Robin is currently missing that Conner goes to Gotham to find and sees Stephanie acting as Robin instead. Something that Conner handles very childishly. Conner does get to speak to Tim and we hear that he quit being Robin (which will last until the events of War Games). Cass also gets a talk with Ares which hints at future events among other things. Among all this is an epidemic going around giving kids Beast Boy’s powers and causes him to lose his own.
Though I loved the first seven issues of Teen Titans (as seen in my first Retrospective), I feel that Johns’ writing drops in these issues, especially for 8-12. His story telling jumps all around the place. He spent a lot of time going over character histories that I think could have been shortened and that would have been better spent on better things like making Rose’s change into Ravager feel more believable. Also while I mostly felt that the way characters acting in A Kids Game (issues 1-7) is primarily a mix of what happened with Donna Troy’s death and otherwise hormones, well I don’t feel I can do the same for a lot of things in here. Yes, Tim quitting makes sense but I just find it odd how hard Conner takes it and how he reacted to Stephanie being Robin. Not to mention just a lot of odd things tossed in like the Batmobile bit.