Teen Titans Annual: Tom DeFalco, Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Sal Regla, Marlo Alquiza, John Livesay, Andrew Dalhouse, Rob Leigh, Rob Hunter
So here it is…the beginning of The Culling, the huge crossover spanning between Teen Titans, Superboy, and Legion Lost. There are parts of this Annual that I loved, and there are lots I did not like. Let’s get started. I hope I don’t make this crazy long.
Tom DeFalco. I’ve said lots already in other reviews. But it seems like he had a heavy hand in writing this Annual, and possibly a lot of The Culling itself. A lot of weak dialog and some poor character choices that I’m more willing to associate with DeFalco much easier than I am Lobdell. Lobdell’s been able to show us consistency in his book, whereas DeFalco’s first issue of Legion Lost was a train wreck and a departure from Nicieza’s run. The worst is with the villains, Harvest and his crew. They seriously gave me indigestion.
Positively, BRETT BOOTH’S BACK! There were a few issues of Teen Titans handled by Ig Guara because of Booth needing time to work on this Annual. It’s so nice to see Booth’s pencil’s again, I’m not going to lie. There’s even one panel where Tim looks like he did in Young Justice all those years ago. Rapmund and Sal Regla help out with inks here, along with a couple others. I was able to talk to Sal about this issue, and he said that Andrew Dalhouse was the REAL hero on the art team. Regla pointed out how Andrew was able to add real depth to panels with his colors. It was cool to see.
Another really cool treat was BEAST BOY!!! Holy crap!! I really like Gar, I think he’s a great character. To see him back is a breath of fresh air. And he’s red now! I wonder how that decision went down. Anyway, there’s some GREAT art with Gar, thanks to Brett’s paleoartist background. The Titans end up fighting the Legion, but they eventually understand each other and team up. The best double-page spread I think I’ve ever seen comes from this, when one page is taken by the Titans, the other the Legion. It’s breathtaking. Nice job to the creative team.
And then it’s all ruined when Harvest goes nuts and destroys his monitors, claiming that everything that’s happened…was to his design. Yes. The Titans teaming up with the Legion, and taking everyone out, was exactly what he wanted. It leads to a future that he’s planned for. So…that all happened so Harvest could send his team in to kill them all? I don’t understand, I thought this Culling was to breed a new team of Ravagers to fight for Harvest. But his current team is just going to fight and slaughter them all? What even?
Teen Titans Annual #1, the verdict: So it all came down to, not a deus ex machina, but more a “I PLANNED IT ALL ALONG!” from the villain. How absolutely disappointing. I HATE those endings! It’s like everything the heroes fought for means nothing! Everything they did was in vain, and I think…”Why’d I read this in the first place?” See, a lot of writers think that whole, “Hahaha, everything you’ve done was anticipated, and exactly what I wanted you to do!” from the villain is exciting, and dramatic, and will get a great reaction out of us readers. Wrong. It negates everything our heroes have done. All I can do is take comfort almost all of the Teen Titans issues have been really great.
(Photo Source: Newsarama)