This comic was a bit jarring for me, only because it focuses on a handful of characters who I have not previously read much (if anything) about. Continuing the saga of the Teen Titans, this comic picks up where the last left off (sadly I don’t think I read that particular trade): the heroes were confronted with future versions of themselves, upset and worried over what they will presumably become. As the heroes try to come to terms with what they’ve learned, they must square off against a new foe who is doing his best to break down and capture all of the Teen Titans.
The Clock King (yay, a reference to “Batman: The Animated Series”!) and his loyal henchmen are attacking the Titans one at a time, slowly capturing them so that they can be sold to participate in bizarre battles to the death for the truly sick and wealthy of the world. The main conflict of the story was good, but I was far more drawn in by what each character was going through personally.
Robin and Cassie seem to have some sort of budding relationship, one which Cassie breaks off because she still needs to get over Conner’s death. I’m not really sure what’s up with these two, especially after the revelation in the last trade that Spoiler is alive. Apparently Tim Drake is just a player now. Or maybe the writers just don’t communicate. Oh well.
Kid Devil, a character I know very little about, has the patented “good kid constantly screwing up” thing down pat.
He seems to be filling the role of resident Titans screw-up once held by Bart Allen, but at least he fills it well. As the comic closes he adopts the new title of Red Devil, shedding the “kid” and seemingly taking on a more adult role. His feelings about his place in the group have definitely been addressed with other Titans in prior books, but it was fun to read nonetheless.
Miss Martian has made few, if any, appearances on “the shelf”, but I found myself drawn to her character. Presently she’s fighting her future self, who has latched onto her and resides in her own mind, and even has the ability to control her at will.
This aspect of the story was good enough, but I particularly like M’gann as a person. She has the upbeat personality and innocence of Mary Marvel, attacking her evil counterpart with puppy kisses at one point (not going to lie, I let out an audible “awwww” at that one). She hasn’t let anyone else know about the issues she’s been facing (typical teen) so I’m sure this aspect of her character hasn’t been fully fleshed out yet. She was fun enough to keep me interested though, and I liked seeing a more innocent character added to the Titans’ line-up.
A major crux of the story seems to be Ravenger’s shifting allegiance. She seems to want to be good, and even cares about what happens to her fellow Titans, but she can’t shake this nagging desire to kill. The Titans plan on punishing her for this, and as a result she runs away to be with the Clock King, who felt an immediate connection to her.
I didn’t like the fact that Ravenger left at the end of the story, especially after having fought of the Clock King’s advances earlier on. I like her much more as a bad girl trying to go straight; as a villain, I don’t think she has anything to help her stand out among the rest. Hopefully her foray over to the dark side (heh) is temporary; if not, I’d be surprised if any of her future storylines are all that exciting.
After reading this comic, I questioned Mistah J about the gap in the storyline, saying I wanted to learn more about some of these characters. He assured me that the comic was only on “the shelf” due to one piece of information provided in the story, and that the rest can be overlooked. Being the psychopath that I am, I find that unacceptable. I need to know everything, to which he quipped, “Well that’s comics! You find topics or characters you like and go off and explore their stories.” I guess that means I’ve got plenty of exploring to do then. Looks like I’ll be starting my own comics collection soon enough. Oh well, who needs a paycheck??