Continuing on with another Retrospective with issues 20-26, and while last retrospective contained some of my favorite story arcs, this one has one of my favorite moments. Part of this ties in with Identity Crisis.
This issue starts off with Starfire leaving to be with Nightwing, and a slight note from Robin that Superboy at least considers Cyborg “the rock of the Teen Titans.” Skip forward a little, and we now have a Tim dealing with the recent death of his dad, mostly by trying to ignore and not talk about it.
With a call from the JL, the Teen Titans find themselves in Opal city going after some punk kids who managed to get lucky and come across one of Luthor’s suits which also has the Electrocutioner going after them. Its when Electrocutioner makes a statement about Robin’s dad that pushes Tim over the edge and causes Robin to brutally beat the guy into the ground. Of course such an action draws the attention of the rest of the Titans and Robin finally breaks down and tearfully tells them about his dad’s death. The way Johns writes this scene accompanied by Grummett’s art makes this scene very touching.
To move on, we get to see Green Arrow be captured by Dr. Light, and Speedy (Mia) join the Titans. After Speedy gets the tour and a basic history of the Titans by Cyborg, Dr. Light asks specifically for the Titans thanks to the media. In seconds the Titans are getting calls from basically all the super hero groups offering help and Wally even hints that Dr. Light is a lot worse than he was in the past, yet refuses to give out any information on it. And by golly when the Titans finally get to Dr. Light, he starts taking them down like it’s nothing. He also tells them that the League took his mind (hinting basically he was lobotomized). Kind of a scary thing to think that the JL would do that to someone. The fight goes downhill and even after basically every Titan who ever was shows up, Light still gives them a good fight until Cyborg finally takes him out. We finish with the Titans having some sharing time which includes Mia stating she “tested positive” but Conner still neglects to inform anyone about his DNA.
A new day starts and we see Conner questioning who he is again due to part of his DNA coming from Luthor. To such a point he actually asked Raven if he had a soul and she had no answer for him. Of course, just as Conner gets the nerve to tell the Titans (he asks Tim to gather them all), Luthor turns on some switch which basically puts Conner under his control. In moments he takes out the Titans including breaking Robin’s arm and dismantlement Cyborg before taking off. Robin calls for help to the Outsiders which ends up having Indigo turn into Brainiac 8 and turn against the Outsiders. Yep, another crossover event. When we rejoin the Titans, they are with the Outsiders taking on a group of rogue Superman robots. Really? I thought after Donna’s death by one of those that Superman would have made sure ALL of those things were shut off. Oh well, convenient plot devices for the win.
After the fight is over – in part due to Johns having Cassie go berserk – Tim decides to tell the Titans about Conner having half of Lex’s DNA. The break though lasts just a moment until Luthor, Superboy, and Indigo show up and this fight goes on a good while. Eventually though Conner snaps out of the mind control, Indigo is killed, and we move to see Conner thinking of himself as a monster back in Smallville. That is until Raven suddenly appears and pulls him away to look at some of his history, his fears, and then eventually tells Conner he does have a soul.