Comics: Teen Titans #61

Finish them already!

Finish them already!

I collected the George Perez run of the Teen Titans back in the 80’s and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It introduced me to a lot of DC characters for the first time outside the big three and was probably my first understanding and exposure to the DC Universe (which was then clarified for myself even more so with Crisis On Infinite Earths). 

While I admit I didn’t jump on the newest incarnation from it’s outset, I ended up picking up one of the early Judd Winick collection trades which ended up being pretty decent.  So after reading at least two of the collections, I went ahead and started picking this up on a monthly basis.  At first, it was pretty exciting, with a roster including Superboy (Conner Kent), Cyborg, Wondergirl, Robin (Tim Drake), Beast Boy, Ravager, and eventually Kid Devil.

The stories and action were good, and the plotlines and interpersonal relationships between some of the characters (Superboy/Wondergirl, Ravager/Kid Devil, Beast Boy/Raven) was pretty dynamic, but I have to say the recent direction under head writer Geoff Johns in recent months along with the roster change just doesn’t feel epic enough to carry the ‘Titan’ moniker. 

Conner Kent (Superboy) is gone, as are some of the original Titans and Ravager as well, with recent additions of the new Blue Beetle, M’gann, and upcoming Static and possibly Kid Eternity.  It just feels that all the major arcs and flowing storylines under Winick’s direction have been substituted with disjointed filler material as of late, and nothing seems to gel right now.

Issue 61, with Kid Devil and Blue Beetle working together to take down a common threat just seemed forced to make the reader try and understand their ‘opposites’ dynamic, but still just seemed forced and unnatural.  The joking between Kid and Blue just fall flat and read very predictable and juvenile.

By the end of the issue we see Kid Devil unveil his new uniform and name, Red Devil and then there’s the official inclusion of Blue Beetle to the team.  The only characters that lend any weight to this book right now are Robin and Wondergirl and this clearly wasn’t their issue. 

I’m also very sad to say that it looks like both Wendy and Marvin (with Marvin’s recent death) have been written out of the book.  They lent a special ‘cloak & dagger’ aspect to the book as treated the fanboys to a nostalgic yet updated fresh take on these two, and their time was cut short before they were properly utilized.

Suffice to say, I think until the book settles back down with an established roster and spanning storylines and plot threads I may be shelving this book for a bit.  Too bad, because if you would have asked me what one of my favorite team books was a year ago, Teen Titan would have been near the top of my list….now I just don’t care to spend my $2.99 on a book that just seems to be trudging to nowhere.