Teen Titans: Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Andrew Dalhouse, Dezi Sienty
You guys, I’m such a die-hard. I love the Teen Titans. I loved Geoff Johns’ run. I loved J.T. Krul’s run. And this current series, in the New 52, is just an absolute treat. Lobdell’s writing is top-notch, Booth’s art is bar-none, Rapmund’s inks seek to only enhance absolutely everything on the page, and Dalhouse’s colors - in this issue especially - are just a sight to behold. Check out those first two pages, with the Titans bathed in police light. Everything is so brilliantly washed-out, like it would be in a super bright spot, and then the colors revert to normal once Skitter arrives on the scene and breaks the lights. It’s stuff like that in the books that makes you realize how good of a colorist you have on the staff. I’ll get back to the outstanding art. First…the story. After their completely botched run-in with Superboy last ish, Bart is left with his powers going haywire, threatening his very existence (there’s more to why, in my opinion, but more on that at another time). If you haven’t already figured out that Bart Allen is my one-and-only favorite DC character yet, then there’s no hope for you. The fact that he’s featured so prominently in this arc is like a dream come true for me. In past arcs and series runs, he’s had his moments…but never such a large spotlight like Lobdell’s providing him here in the relaunch. We know far less about Wonder Girl and Red Robin, for pete’s sake! We know less about them, pre-existing characters, than we do Skitter and Bunker! And that’s saying something! But I do believe that they will all get their chance to shine. Lobdell’s a pro at handling team books (just read his “X-Men” books! They’re awesome!). We get an incredible guest appearance in this issue with Virgil Hawkins! You may know him better as STATIC! Static is awesome. I’ve been really enjoying his own title, Static Shock, and I’m sad to see it go this coming May. This issue right here, though, convinced me that, after Static Shock goes, Virgil belongs right here in the Titans. He and Red Robin know each other, of course, and work together to figure out what’s wrong with Bart, while Cassie and Bunker find out where Skitter’s disappeared to. MEANWHILE, we get the MOST AWESOME revelation of ALL so far in the series!! Detective Lure, from the beginning of the issue, starts speaking INTERLAC! DC and Legion fans know what that means…. She’s from the future, folks. She also recognized Bart…and pulls up a file of him in Interlac, and the kid’s a straight-up thug. Futuristic bandit. OUTSTANDING! Bart Allen’s origin is still firmly planted in the 30th Century…and that makes me unspeakably happy. I’ve always admired Bart’s more unusual, unique speedster origin story. Virgil assesses Bart’s angry powers and gives him a protective suit of armor that should help keep Bart’s molecules aligned so long as he wears it. This is actually pretty cool, and very different from Bart’s original story. Before, Wally West snapped Bart’s super-aging metabolism into normalcy. Here, that apparently doesn’t happen…and Bart’s only safe while he’s in that suit. So there’s a good potential for a scary story later when something happens to said suit. Please bear with me as I go just a little more Bart crazy with this issue (so much happens!). Bart and Solstice start to talk and Bart reveals how scared he is of his own past and they begin to form a bond, which is hinted at even stronger when Solstice admits Bart looks “sexy” in the new uniform. Apparently this is the avenue the book will be taking, with these two possibly becoming romantic…which I find really great. Bart was such a child, mentally, pre-relaunch, and it’ll be nice to see this other, more adult side of him (in canon, kids. In canon). And, finally, his eyes are yellow again! I mentioned that in my earlier reviews of this series, and Brett and Andrew were nice enough to console me, telling me they were aware of his eye color, and to stay tuned. They fulfilled their promise, and I shall love them forever. Now, while all this craziness is happening with Bart, Virgil, Solstice, and Red Robin…Wonder Girl, Bunker, and Skitter make a new friend out of Grymm, a S.T.A.R. Labs prisoner and a very dangerous teen. Grymm turns Skitter against them with some mind control, and he renders the other two motionless as well. But Bunker’s powers are psionic, so he wins the day. A nice little aside for the rest of the team to go on, and it provided some good action while the others worked on Bart (who’s now wearing a doodle). Getting back to the art, I’m such a huge Booth fan I can’t even put it into proper words without making this obscenely long review obscenelierly longerlier. But my Teen Titans reviews tend to go long. Virgil looks good here, and I love his pet robo-raptor (Brett Booth’s a big dino fan, can you tell?). I seriously think Lobdell and the gang are missing out if they don’t utilize Static as a member of the Titans in the future. I really dig Grymm’s look, but I don’t really understand why his face is so messed up. It looks cool, yeah! But I’m not finding the purpose behind it. There’s a large panel in this issue where Red Robin’s talking about calling the Justice League for help first, but they’re not available. His face here…and in a couple other spots in this issue…it reminded me so strongly of the Young Justice days, like when Todd Nauck would illustrate, that there was this pinch in my heart and I had to stop reading for a moment. Great work on Red Robin in this one, Brett. Then, of course, there’s that lovely splash panel of Bart in the new Kid Flash costume. Spectacustandingsome. That sums it up.
Teen Titans #6, the verdict: My favorite issue so far…but mostly because I’ve got such a fan-crush on Bart, and we get to see so much of his character, his story, and his origin, right here. So much happens for Bart in this one, and I’m really pumped to find out what happens next. I’m really interested in Bart’s criminal past (in the future), and how he came about arriving in the present time, and if he is, in fact, somehow related to Barry Allen. And, holy lord, Scott Lobdell…if Bart’s from the 30th Century, please tell me there’s a President Thawne. And please tell me there’s a good possibility of having a New 52 relaunch version of Inertia rearing his ugly head. What they did with that character in the “Impulse” series was some of the best writing in comics I’ve seen to date. Now that I’ve gotten my taste of one of the Titans’ origins…I’m thirsty for more. BRING ‘EM ON, BOYS!!
(Photo Source: Dangermart.Blogspot.com)