Teen Titans: On the Clock

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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??




Teen Titans: Life and Death

“Infinite Crisis Week” Day 4!

Sure, some of these comics don’t all tie into Infinite Crisis as directly as others, but they’re all a lead-up to that event, and therefore deserve an honorable mention.  That being said, this comic puts us in the thick of things.  Teen Titans: Life and Death focuses on everyone’s favorite teen superhero team as they deal with the aftermath of Superboy’s attack.  Relegated to the Kents’ farm in Kansas, Connor is out of action for a bulk of the trade while the rest of the Titans are facing the most imminent danger: the OMACs, sleeper agents who have begun attacking meta-humans who have been deemed a threat to society.

Of course, this isn’t the only problem the Titans are facing. Early on in the comics, Tim Drake is confronted and attacked by none other than Jason Todd, who is upset that he seems to have been forgotten by the Titans and replaced by someone else.  He challenges Tim to a fight and beats him senseless, leaving a message for the group on the wall, written in Tim’s blood.


This scene was really well done, and helps show why these recent comics are so great. Everything is connected.  It would have been easy for the Under the Red Hood storyline to remain rooted in Batman, but here we see Red Hood cross over into Teen Titans to confront his replacement. It’s a realistic inclusion that helps the comics feel more real, with interactions across a number of titles, rather than keeping characters relegated to a single comic.

This scene is quickly overshadowed by the larger story arc though. At this point I was jumping around between trades constantly, with post-its guiding my journey through the comics so I wasn’t facing spoilers within a single trade.  I learned of character reappearances in Infinite Crisis, a story that carries over into this trade as Conner is attacked by Superboy-Prime.


Superboy-Prime, having watched this Earth from afar, believes he was robbed of his true life, and that Conner is making a mockery of the title of Superboy.  Prime attacks Conner, beating him senseless and fighting anyone who gets in his way, even killing a handful of heroes.

The Flashes unite to banish Superboy-Prime, but Conner is in pretty bad shape.  The Titans band together to seek out a cure to Conner’s ailment, and with the help of Luthor they actually succeed (Luthor wanting Conner alive for his own dastardly plans).

Conner returns to the fight and engages in a fairly epic battle. Unfortunately, Prime returns as well, and as the two battle, the very existence of Earth is at stake. Conner ultimately triumphs, repairing the damage that’s been done and uniting the split universe once more.  Unfortunately, it’s at a terrible cost.


Conner, the conflicted Superboy who constantly felt torn between the good and evil within himself, is dead.  He died a hero though, saving his world from complete annihilation.  It was difficult to read about Conner’s death, especially because he’s been Superboy for so long and just seemed like a staple character at this point.  I also couldn’t help but notice that in the throes of these crises, Superman always seems to be the one who loses someone.  First Kara in Crisis on Infinite Earths, now Conner.  It’s a heartfelt tragedy, and the fact that Superman can continue to fight and hold out hope in the wake of such losses speaks lengths to his character.

Teen Titans: Life and Death was easily the most poignant and moving trade in the Infinite Crisis lead-up so far.  As a sendoff to Conner it was wonderfully done, reminding readers of his strengths and insecurities as he finally saves the world with the ultimate sacrifice.  Conner’s death saved the world, but the repercussions of the events that led up to his death have yet to be felt.  I’m sure they will be widespread, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the Titans will have to adjust how they operate without Superboy by their side.


Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Death and Return of Donna Troy

Have I mentioned how much I hate cover spoilers?  Okay, okay, They sort of need to explain what this collection is all about, but does it have to be so blatantly obvious?  I’m grumpy about this stuff, but I like being surprised every once in a while.

This trade breaks up Donna Troy’s story into two parts.  In the first half, we get the story of how Donna died (a story that I’ve been curious about since I read a reference to her death in a Teen Titans trade).  The short story is this: a cybernetic being from the future travels back through time and activates a Superman robot, who goes on a tear.  In their efforts to stop it, Donna is killed.


The scene was emotional, but something just didn’t sit right with me that it was a robot that killed her.  Maybe I don’t like feeling cheated out of getting to see a vengence/justice story, where her friends hunt down her killer.  There’s a coldness associated with her death, and it was upsetting to see such a great character brought down by a cybernetic being.

This entire chapter bothered me as well due to a second included death: that of Lilith, also known as Omen.  Now to be fair, I knew virtually nothing about Lilith, so I wasn’t exactly moved when she was killed. What bugged me was that none of the other Titans seemed affected by her death either.  They were all focused on Donna’s death, and Lilith ended up being overlooked.  If Donna was meant to be the focus, then why kill Lilith in the first place? What’s more, why kill her alongside Donna, if her death is just going to be overshadowed?  It left a bad taste in my mouth, seeing how mournful the Titans were for Donna while they made virtually no reference to Lilith.  I understand that Donna was more well-known within the superhero world, but Lilith’s treatment creates a negative image of the Titans and how they treat their own.  It detracted from the overall emotion of the scene to see them play favorites, especially when Lilith’s death added nothing to the larger story.

After Donna’s death, the comic gets a little wonky.  We learn that Donna isn’t really dead, but living on a far-distant planet as a Titan, one of the mythical gods of old.  She and her family are engaged in a vicious battle with those inhabiting the planet.  A small teleportation orb seeks out the Titans and Outsiders, and brings them all to this planet in order to save Donna and restore her memories.


Truth be told, I didn’t care for this portion of the comic. It was drawn-out, and I never felt invested in the storyline. All of these Titan gods who sit up on their thrones and do nothing – it’s just not a very compelling story.

Donna ultimately gets her true memories back, and is able to help overpower the Titans and prevent them from overtaking worlds.  The comic closes with Donna starting a new life on this distant planet.

As a return, it’s a bit anti-climactic.  There’s some interesting explanation about how Donna is actually numerous versions of her self crammed into one being, with multiple histories and backstories.


This part was by far the most interesting, but unfortunately it’s only a brief two-page synopsis and doesn’t make up the bulk of the comic.  I liked the creative way in which Donna’s multiple histories are explained and all tie together in the single universe, but the rest of the comic just fell a little flat.  I didn’t care about the Titans, and seeing as how Donna doesn’t even return to Earth, I’m left wondering why exactly her return was written.

Of course, Infinite Crisis is right around the corner, so there could easily be a good reason for this storyline.  My guess is that it’ll play a part in a larger story arc down the road, but as a self-contained story it was fairly underwhelming.  Donna Troy deserved a more exciting return story than the one that was presented here.


Teen Titans: The Future is Now

My very first thought when I saw the cover of this trade: Why the hell is Batman with the Teen Titans??  Well, as I read the comic I was given a surprising and rather unexpected answer: that’s Batman alright, but it’s not Bruce Wayne.  It’s Tim Drake.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: friggin’ comics.

The first story arc in this trade finds the Titans thrust into the future, a mere ten years from the present day (which, given that this comic came out in 2004, means that all of this, even the “future” events, already happened).  The Titans meet the older, more hardened versions of themselves, and find that they haven’t quite lived up to their own expectations.  The world is a grim place, and the Titans have adopted a rougher objective: keep people safe by any means necessary.

As the Titans battle themselves in an effort to get home, they try to avoid details about their own futures.  They can’t help but ask questions, and some believe the Titans must split up in order to prevent this future from ever happening.

Future Cyborg informs present-day Superboy that the Titans must stay together, and that their breaking up is what lead to this twisted future.  Although they find it difficult to reconcile these future selves with the morals they currently uphold, they all seem to agree that Cyborg’s advice is sound, and that they’re better off together.  As the Titans find their way back to their own time, they seem more determined than ever to make their team work.

The second half of the trade tied into the continuity a bit more, with one storyline in particular being continued.  The events of Identity Crisis were shocking, and I wondered how other comics would keep those events as part of continuity without forcing their own titles to delve into exceedingly mature subject matter.  Teen Titans provided the answer.  In a rather fitting continuation, Dr. Light’s next appearance after Identity Crisis is in this trade (since , after all, he’s always been a regular foe of the Titans).  Of course, this Doctor Light isn’t the same villain the Titans remember.  He’s no longer the bumbling fool of old, but a cold, calculated opponent who has his sights on destroying the Titans.

This was a natural progression for the storyline begun in Identity Crisis, and while I’m still digesting the events of that trade, I was interested to see how this would play out.  There would undoubtedly be fallout from all that occurred in that story, and here we see the first inkling of just how far-reaching it is.

While certain factions are being split up by the news, the Titans seem to become stronger.  They know their fellow heroes have made mistakes, but they also know that they must trust one another if they hope to overpower their enemies.  Cyborg seems to be the voice of reason throughout the trade, providing guidance and stability to the team when they need it most.

Titans old and new gather to defeat Doctor Light, in a battle that is anything but easy.  They capture him and turn him over to Batman, who turns out to be Deadshot in disguise (how Robin, an incredibly astute detective, didn’t realize this guy wasn’t Batman is beyond me, but whatever.)  Clearly Doctor Light’s story isn’t over, and I can only imagine what Deadshot is planning.  The significance of this fight, however, isn’t overlooked.


Cyborg confronts Green Lantern directly about the issue in question.  With the Titans now aware of what their mentors did, they will surely have doubts.  When your heroes fall from the pedestal you’ve placed them on, you must create an entirely new image of them in your mind, and this will definitely be difficult for the Titans. They have held these JLA members in such high regard for so long that to realize they are less than perfect must be incredibly tough.  I’m curious to see how the dynamic between the groups changes as this information becomes more public.  Surely there will be a division amongst the heroes, with those understanding and in support of wiping enemies’ minds, and those who believe it is entirely wrong.  For some, like Superman or Captain Marvel, it’s easy to guess which side they’ll choose.  Others are a bit murkier, and could side with either faction.

I’m unsure at this point if the fallout of Identity Crisis will lead to a major split between teams.  If this Teen Titans trade is any indication, it’s at least clear that those events will not be soon forgotten.  It’s clear their significance has yet to be fully felt.


Teen Titans: Family Lost

The Teen Titans comics never disappoint, and Geoff Johns’s continuation of the series is no exception.  We’re met with a variety of characters, new and old, with shared histories and new experiences.  As former animosities are dredged up and ultimately come to a head, the Titans must decide who they can trust.

The bulk of the story centers around Raven’s reappearance.  This was teased briefly in the last Teen Titans trade, as Raven blinked onto the scene, snatched Joey’s essence, and disappeared.  Here she’s back, but the Titans can’t seem to locate her.  She’s sending them signals as best she can, but of course those signals are bringing nothing but confusion and danger.

As though Raven’s arrival wasn’t enough, the Titans also have to deal with their old pal Deathstroke, who has recruited his daughter Rose to help do his bidding.  Likely realizing she is the one and only heir he has left, Slade puts all of his power into turning Rose into a weapon.  He succeeds all too well, and Rose adopts the title originally held by her now-deceased older brother: The Ravenger.


The devout, blind faith Rose puts on her father is a bit annoying at times, only because she’s little more than a puppet to him.  Still, given that she’s desperate for someone to call family, it fits her personality to want to do anything she can to please him.

It’s a good choice for the character stylistically; that doesn’t mean I have to like said character.

Deathstroke and the Titans each track down Raven, who is being held captive by Brother Blood, a young kid who it has been prophesied will marry Raven and bring about the destruction of the world as we know it.


Deathstroke and Ravenger want to kill Raven, to ensure that Joey is truly dead.  The Titans, of course, have other plans.  Starfire (in a rather surprising move) lies to Deathstroke, accepting his help in defeating Brother Blood in exchange for Raven.  Once the brat is defeated though, Raven is whisked away, with Deathstroke and Ravenger left with nothing to show for their troubles.

As is characteristic, Raven doesn’t plan on staying long at Titan Tower.  She views herself as a danger to those around her, and believes she’s better off on her own.  Like their predecessors though, the Titans have their own opinion on the matter.


In a surprising moment of caring, Gar convinces Raven to stay, and while I doubt she will become a permanent fixture around the Tower, it’s nice to see that she’s at least back for the time being.  She’s far too powerful, not to mention far too emotionally complicated, to be left out of the fray for long.

Overall this was a great continuation of Johns’s run on Teen Titans.  I’ll admit there were one or two jokes which fell a bit flat with me, only because they felt like they were trying just a little too hard, but for the most part it was a well-paced story that kept me engaged from start to finish.  The finale was open-ended enough that there can easily be a continuation to the storyline at a later date, so I doubt we’ve seen the last of these villains.  The arc featured here though was self-contained enough that it can be appreciated for what it is, without seeming like a mere stepping-stone between two distinct storylines.

I’m always a fan when a panel or two jump out at me, generally because I find them particularly amusing. They’re not generally essential to the overall plot, but they add that extra oomph that makes the story so readable.  Geoff Johns doesn’t disappoint, with the following little aside that I couldn’t help but chuckle at.


Panels like this make you question some of the realities behind being a superhero.  Just how many batarangs do Batman and Robin go through??  Is there really a batarang fund, set aside just for crime-fighting paraphernalia? I sat with this comic on my lap, staring off into space as I considered this, for a solid five minutes.

When a comic can make me stop and think about the real-world logistics of being a superhero, it has my vote.


Teen Titans: A Kid’s Game

Leave it to Geoff Johns to create a brand new Teen Titans that pulls at all the right heartstrings.  Damn him.

This reboot of the popular Teen Titans series unites old and new superheroes.  Starfire, Changling, and Cyborg decide that the new generation of heroes needs a place they can go to be themselves and be around other like-minded superheroes, so they create a clubhouse of sorts, with a new Titan Tower in San Francisco.  They invite Impulse, Superboy, Robin, and Wonder Girl to be a part of the team.  Although some have reservations about joining such a group, they all agree, and journey to the new Tower for a weekend together.

The opening portion of the trade focuses on showing how lost or out of place each kid is, feeling uncertain in their current roles as they attempt to be normal teenagers by day, crime-fighters by night.  Each has their own distinct personality and feels wholly realistic.  Kudos to Johns for being able to write teens that can be emotional without sounding whiny.

Their quiet time at the Tower is short-lived though.  Arguing and resentment bubbles over fairly quickly, as references are made to the last time they were together, when they all saw Donna Troy (Troia) die.

Truth be told, this storyline wasn’t collected on “the shelf” so I had no idea it happened.  Luckily, the comic provides enough detail to make it clear that each teen feels responsible for Donna’s death, and is worried about fighting side by side again.

They’re forced to put these feeling aside as they learn that Deathstroke is in town, and has the Titans in his sights.


Deathstroke, who famously killed his son Joey/Jericho (a Teen Titan) has decided that the Titans have no right endangering their lives, and plans to stop them, even if it means using violence.

He shoots Impulse in the kneecap and battles the rest of the Titans on a rooftop.  All is not as it seems though, as we soon learn that Deathstroke is, in fact, possessed by the spirit of Jericho.


Jericho jumped into his father’s body right before he was killed, and has been waiting patiently ever since. It is he who believes the Titans shouldn’t exist, and he is determined to stop them.  A fairly exciting fight takes place, but before Joey can be stopped, Raven shows up out of nowhere and sends Joey’s spirit someplace far away, before being kidnapped herself.

It’s a lot happening in a short span of time, but the action is only half of the story.  The more compelling aspects are the characters themselves, who each face their own trials.  It seems fairly clear that the Titans’ next move will be to rescue Raven and track down Jericho, but what’s not so certain is how each Titan will grow and mature as the series progresses.

Impulse feels as though he isn’t taken seriously, so he reads an entire library worth of books and adopts the identity of Kid Flash, so that he may finally be viewed as a hero.  Robin feels torn between being a hero and figuring out what he wants to do with his life long-term.  Wonder Girl is kicked out of school because her identity is known, and doesn’t know how to cope.  Superboy has been given a civilian identity, but adapting to the slower life in Kansas provides its own set of difficulties.

Each Titan has their own personal struggles that feel completely normal for any teenager, even if they weren’t superheroes.  They all bear a common weight on their shoulders though: the death of Donna Troy, a pain that is still fresh in their minds.

This pain is finally addressed towards the end of the book, with Starfire characteristically lashing out.


Blame is bandied about before everyone finally accepts that it wasn’t really anyone’s fault, and that it’s simply one of the hazards of being a superhero. Many have given their lives to save others, and Donna was the most recent casualty.  She won’t be forgotten, but it’s no reason for everyone else to hang up their mantles and never protect the innocent again.

This comic was a perfect setup for a new Teen Titans series.  I loved seeing the Titans interact with not only the JLA, but with former Teen Titans members as well. It makes sense that former members would stay on to offer guidance to the new crop of heroes, and I like seeing the former Titans in the more responsible adult roles (although truth be told, I don’t think Gar Logan will ever truly grow up.)  The character interactions feel fresh and new, and Johns writes each character with a clear understanding of their individual personalities.

What’s more, he’s able to inject just the right amount of humor into the stories.  He’s not as light-hearted as a Giffen/DeMatteis comic, but he still allows a few moments of levity that keep the comic from feeling too teen angsty.  My favorite such moment? When Superboy, Robin, and Wonder Girl are planning to sneak out of the Tower, Wonder Girl comments that Robin just lied to Starfire, to which he responds:


This is probably the single-most badass thing Robin has ever said.  Who lies to Batman???  It casts him in more of a bad-boy/roguish role, and although it’s a simple one-liner, I found it to be one of the most entertaining in the comic.

Teen Titans comics are generally personal favorites of mine, and Geoff Johns’s stories are no exception.  He writes each character with a deftness that’s not easily matched, and with stories such as this it’s easy to see how he came to be regarded as such an influential writer.  His continuation of this series will no doubt be as good as the beginning, and I’m hoping I don’t have to wait too long to find out.


The New Teen Titans: Who is Donna Troy?

I took a small break from reading comics over the holidays to decompress and read a few regular books.  After that brief repast, I dove back into “the shelf” with a renewed vigor, eager to find out just what would happen next.

The next trade in the collection, The New Teen Titans: Who is Donna Troy? features stories detailing Donna Troy’s mysterious past.  The first portion of the trade focuses on her pre-crisis history, reminding readers how Wonder Woman saved her from a burning building and brought her back to Paradise Island to be raised by the Amazons.  We later learn the truth about Donna’s adoptive family and even her birth mother.  With this news, she happily marries Terry Long, a wedding prominently featured in a Teen Titans issue.


On this perfect day, Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons makes a rare appearance to wish the couple happiness.  Surrounded by friends and loved ones, the couple enjoys a rare, peaceful day, in which no tragedies or shakeups occur.

I must admit that while it was nice to see the wedding, this particular issue felt a bit lackluster to me, if only because there weren’t any big shakeups or villains to defeat.  I understand the issue’s importance in the overall story, but I was happy to be through it and on to more exciting stories.

Here the trade takes a sharp right turn.  While all of these issues were being published, Crisis was occurring, and as a result many character’s backstories were changing.  Donna Troy’s was one that had to change out of necessity, as it no longer made sense for Donna to have been rescued by Wonder Woman.  The remainder of this trade focused on the new Donna Troy backstory, removing Wonder Woman from the equation and creating a brand new history for her character.

This is where the trade began to feel more gripping at the same time that it started to lose me.  I enjoyed Donna’s backstory and the revelation that she was saved by the Titans and given all of her powers to act as a savior for their race:


However, it is also frustrating to have such a well-established character’s backstory completely rewritten.  I understand the need to rewrite her story to make it fit with the new continuity, but at the same time I dislike having to relearn a character’s history.  Knowing that there are numerous “Crises” on “the shelf”, I can only imagine how many different times this will happen.  I’m just hoping all of these re-vamps don’t start to detract from the overarching story.

Sure, I may be nitpicking at this a bit, but I guess there’s a part of me that wants the entire 60+ years of comics to tie together cohesively.  Obviously that’s not entirely possible, and there will always be gaps or necessary rewrites to make that happen.  I suppose I still have to get used to reading comics and appreciating them as single issues or perhaps just as a particular run, rather than attempting to fit them all together into one seamless storyline.  After all, with decades worth of stories and untold numbers of writers and artists, it only makes sense that there would need to be changes and retcons to make everything flow as smoothly as possible.

While the story of Donna Troy presented here was enjoyable to read, I couldn’t help buy feel that one of the trade’s strengths was also a weakness.  Wolfman and Perez craft these stories so deftly that they create an entire world within their comics, with various characters coming and going and past events often alluded to.  The stories are written assuming the reader has read each New Teen Titans issue; had I done so, I’m sure I would have absolutely loved the cohesiveness of the comic.  As it stands, there are numerous issues I haven’t read, and so there were a number of references I didn’t get or know about (for example, apparently Tara (aka Terra) died at some point).  Again, this may play to my need for completion, something it is very difficult to obtain in comics.  I’m sure if I went back and read the entire New Teen Titans I would revel in these allusions to past events, but reading the story like this made it feel a bit disjointed and incomplete.

As the trade closed, Donna revealed a new identity to go along with her new backstory:


Donna Troy shed her identity of Wonder Girl (a bit of a misnomer now since she has no association with Wonder Woman) and became Troia, taken from the name the Titans had given her.  Although her new look feels quintessentially “80’s” and I initially balked at this new character, looking back I can understand the reason for this change.  Creating a new identity for Donna would have made it difficult to keep track of pre- and post-crisis Wonder Girl.  With this change, Wolfman and Perez allowed readers to easily delineate the two Donna Troy stories in their mind.  I just hope she comes to her senses and changes that god-awful outfit…

While the individual stories featured here left a few holes in the overall narrative (holes likely filled by issues I haven’t read), the trade itself serves a clear purpose on “the shelf”.  With so much changing after the events in Crisis, it was only natural for the writers to reimagine certain characters and change their backstories to fit into this new continuity.  Although I may not always love the fact that these changes have to occur, I can’t deny that Donna Troy’s story was handled with deft hands in this collection.