Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Co-Creators: Marv Wolfman & George Pérez | Embellisher: Romeo Tanghal
Letterer: Ben Oda | Colorist: Carl Gafford | Editor: Len Wein

The Plot: On Okaara, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Raven, and the Omega Men defend the imprisoned goddess X'hal from the Citadel forces. Meanwhile, aboard a Citadel ship overhead, Cyborg saves Changeling from the slavers holding a gun on him. Cyborg, Robin, and Changeling hijack the ship, using one slaver as a guide, and head for the Citadel's homeworld to find Starfire.

Meanwhile, during the fight on Okaara, Raven is nearly overcome by the darkness in her soul, but manages to pull herself together. Subsequently, X'hal orders the battle to an end and departs to turn herself over to the Citadel.

Robin, Cyborg, and Changeling reach the Citadel planet and infiltrate the slavers' temple. But one of the Omega Men, Demonia, has stowed away on their ship and reveals herself to the Citadel's leader, Damyn, pledging to serve him and informing him of the Titans' presence.

Robin and the others locate Starfire, along with Damyn, Blackfire, and X'hal, now imprisoned. Believing Starfire dead, Robin flies into a rage and attacks. Cyborg takes Damyn hostage in an attempt to end the fight, but Blackfire kills her leader to claim his title as her own. She then orders Robin, Changeling, and Cyborg taken into custody alongside Starfire.

My Thoughts: Man, that's a long summary! This is a dense issue; so much so that I feel some of it could have fit into the much more loosely paced previous installment. Here we have the full-blown war on Okaara, a rescue mission by Robin's team, and even time for some angst from Raven and a bit of fleshing out for the Omega Men.

But the thing that sticks out more than anything else in the issue is the carnage. On Okaara, the Omega Men are merciless in their fight against the Citadel, killing a number of their forces. Raven does not approve. But the weirder bit is when Robin and friends battle Citadel warriors aboard their ship and Beast Boy grabs a blaster, then uses it to blow a hole through one of the slavers! Is this the same kid who was wracked with remorse after inadvertently killing Madame Rouge several issues back? I guess it's true that each one gets easier...

The Plot: Starfire attacks Blackfire while Robin, Cyborg, and Changeling fight their captors. But the male Titans are defeated, while an alien Psion, who has been acting as a Citadel advisor, proposes that Starfire and Blackfire settle their differences in on-on-one combat on their home planet of Tamaran.

Meanwhile, the Omega Men explain the legend of X'hal to Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, and Raven: she was once a benevolent warrior goddess, but she was killed by the Psions, who then resurrected her through science as a force of destruction. Following this tale, the combined group attacks the Citadel homeworld, rescuing Robin and the others.

On Tamaran, Starfire and Blackfire duel, with Starfire gaining the upper hand. But Blackfire uses her powers in violation of the contest's rules, inadvertently triggering a massive explosion which apparently takes her own life. This activates a device the Psion had implanted in both Blackfire and Starfire, designed to trigger explosives around the entire Citadel empire, destroying it.

But X'hal sacrifices herself to save the solar system and the Citadel, Titans and Omega Men alike all survive. In the aftermath of the battle, Starfire is reunited with her brother and parents, but they remind her that the pact her father made with the Citadel is still in place, and Stafire must leave Tamaran to guarantee its safety.

My Thoughts: First off: during a fight with the Citadel, Changeling is horrified when Demonia kills a slaver, apparently forgetting that earlier that very day, he blew a hole through one of them.

This turns out to be a pretty satisfactory conclusion to the Titans' sci-fi romp, after all. There's maybe a bit too much mythology thrown into the tale, with the origin of X'hal and all, which is not usually my cup of tea. But the fight between Starfire and Blackfire is a lot of fun, and nearly all the Titans get a moment to shine. We even get a nifty use of Kid Flash's powers as he pilots a fighter from the Omega Men's ship through the Citadel's defenses, his superhuman reflexes allowing him to easily spot and evade their laser blasts the entire way.

In general I've found the Omega Men rather boring, though. They're creations of Wolfman's, so it's understandable that he might want to give them some page time, but their visual designs are not terribly exciting and they're just sort of a lame group. To use an X-Men analogy, the Omega Men are no Starjammers!

Speaking of, as noted last time, this storyline coincides with the X-Men's trip into space in their own title around the same time. Thankfully, however, unlike Chris Claremont and his collaborators, Wolfman and Pérez seem to realize that a little sci-fi goes a long way, so the Titans' outer space adventure has come to an end following a nice and tidy three issues (plus an annual). Compare this to the X-Men, who were lost in space for an interminable five issues (plus a subsequent epilogue chapter on Earth), and the Titans come out on top in terms of dueling outer space storylines, only because their excursion to the stars is, mercifully, finished much quicker.

Notwithstanding the fact that one of them is an alien and another is the daughter of an other-dimensional demon, these Titans, like the X-Men, function best on Earth, dealing with mid-level superhuman threats while embroiled in soap opera plotlines. Let's get back to that, shall we? The Brother Blood story was outstanding, but following it up with a star-spanning epic was a little jarring. Here's hoping for a quick return to some more appropriate Terran threats like Blood, Deathstroke, and the H.I.V.E. Those are the stories Wolfman and Pérez have done best, so far. 


  1. Forgot to put this in my last comment: The Omega Men also came from ACTION COMICS. Their ship had run out of fuel and so they asked Superman for help. Unable to find any compatible resources on Earth, Supes was able to gather them from the JLA Satellite's supplies. This story in ACTION COMICS ends with Supes rescuing the Titans.
    Yes, the Titans' savagery is rather selective. Again, I suppose it's due to their being in a different world where such violence is acceptable and necessary. It helps that their victims are nasty aliens.
    Note the touch of humor about Robin. The Teen Wonder is about to enter a world of subzero weather. What does our bare-legged hero do to prepare? He buttons up his cape collar.
    Issue 25 has a short story promoting its future MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE LS. It is a sequel to DC COMICS PRESENTS which had Skeletor kidnapping Superman to fight He-Man. Yes, this short-story has Superman guest-starring as well. Things to note:
    -Zodiac drives a chair that resemble the throne in our Castle Greyskull play-set.
    -According to DC's He-Man continuity, Prince Adam already possesses super strength (he knots a bar-bell).
    -The Sorceress looks like Teela when she wears a snake chestplate and helmet.
    -This story marks the only time in the entire DC He-Man continuity He-Man uses the Power Sword. A Battle axe is his usual weapon.

    Annual 1 has one of my favorite Robin scenes, holding his own against a bunch of aliens. I also liked Kid Flash's ship design.
    The next issues threats will be more down-to-earth than your examples.

    1. I don't necessarily mind the Titans offing these alien slavers, though I do find it a bit unusual by Bronze Age standards. I'm more confused by Wolfman's writing Changeling as horrified over a slaver's death when he himself had just killed one. I wonder if Pérez just drew that scene on his own and Wolfman chose not to acknowledge it in his script.

      I've never read the DC MotU stuff, though I know they did some of the earliest mini-comics, which I really liked as a kid. I loved the cartoon series, but those comics showing a sort of prototype Eternia, before the mythos had been cemented by the TV show, were really cool. I liked the more barbarianesque He-Man.

      I know DC has the rights to MotU comics right now; I should see if they've reprinted that old stuff in trade format.