Monday, March 16, 2015


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

Note: These issues do not have credits in THE NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS volume 2. The above credits are pulled from the DC wiki.

The Plot: (issue 30) It is New Year's Eve. Raven has disappeared following the Brotherhood of Evil's attack on Titans' Tower, leaving Kid Flash, Speedy, and Frances to discuss the situation. But the Brotherhood members come around, trounce the trio, and escape to search for Raven.

Meanwhile, Changeling and Terra are at the apartment where Terra was held by her terrorist blackmailers. She changes into a new costume and asks to join the Titans. Elsewhere, Robin, Starfire, and D.A. Chase meet with Bethany Snow, who informs them that Brother Blood is trying to rig an upcoming congressional election -- however, unbeknownst to the group, she shares this info at Blood's order, and an "assassination attempt" on her life ensues that the trio believes her.

Cyborg goes to Sarah Simms' apartment for a New Year's party, but meets her fiancée, Mark Wright. Their awkward moment is interrupted when the Titans call Cyborg for help. He returns to the Tower, where the group is working to locate Raven and the Beotherhood. Raven, meanwhile, has encountered the villains at a church, and fled to Times' Square. The Titans catch sight of her on television and move to her aid.

At Times' Square, the Titans battle the Brotherhood, aided by Speedy, Terra, and Frances -- but all their power is insufficient to save Raven. She is abducted by Brotherhood member the Void, then the entire group escapes.

Meanwhile, Wonder Girl has been on a New Year's date with Terry Long. As they dance in a posh restaurant atop the city, he presents her with an engagement ring and asks her to marry him.

(issue 31) The Titans return to their tower, where Wonder Girl awaits. She reveals that Terry has proposed, but says that she hasn't answered him yet because she wants to learn about her origins first. Then the group boards their jet and flies to Zandia, where the Brotherhood has Raven.

Meanwhile, Raven is interrogated by the Brotherhood, then finally persuaded by the Brain to tell them what she knows about Brother Blood. It seems that her soul self touched him during their first fight, and now she holds the secret to his power somewhere inside. Tapping into this knowledge, she leads the Brotherhood to a hidden cavern beneath Zandia.

The Titans soon arrive, and a fight breaks out. Her friends are all beaten and Raven goes mad, allowing the power of Trigon to overtake her. She defeats the Brotherhood, but Wonder Girl clams her down before she can take her own life to defeat the darkness within her.

My Thoughts: My summaries seem to be getting denser and denser, and I love it. Prior to THE NEW TEEN TITANS, the only work I had ever read from Marv Wolfman was his run on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, plus the random stray issue of other titles such as BATMAN. So since my primary exposure to his writing was on solo characters, I didn't know what to expect from him on a team book. And while his early work on the Titans was decent, he's really come into his own since somewhere in the series' twenties. He's juggling tons of plates every issue, and keeping every one of them entertaining and engrossing.

Brother Blood is clearly the overarching alpha threat here, but he remains in the background, scheming away while his enemies, the Titans and the Brotherhood, fight each other -- and still, none of these plots are resolved. Through the Brotherhood, we've learned that Blood somehow gets his power from the caverns beneath Zandia, but nothing more. I really like the way Wolfman is very slowly and deliberately trotting out tidbits about Blood (though as I've said before, I hope we get to his origin within these three omnibus volumes).

Meanwhile the sub-plots keep chugging along beautifully, from Robin's inferiority complex to Kid Flash's doubts about his career to Wonder Girl's potential marriage. This is the stuff of which legendary superhero runs are made. Though he's not always my favorite writer, Chris Claremont has long been the gold standard for me with regards to juggling multiple character sub-plots in an ongoing team book. I never thought he'd be usurped, but by this point Wolfman is pretty clearly outdoing him, simply by virtue of the fact that, not only is he running all these plots at once, but he has yet to drop any or leave them dormant for too long (aside from Wonder Girl's origin, which was touched upon maybe twice over the past thirty-plus installments) -- and I know in hindsight that he will eventually pay all of them off, too. As I think about it, in some ways this run, so far, feels more like a novel than an open-ended serial.

However my main issue with Wolfman's scripting remains in effect here: issue 30 features four utterances of the word "Lord" as an epithet, from the mouths of three different people -- including fifteen year-old Terra. I'm sorry, Marv, but no one younger than like forty years old used "Lord" that way in the eighties! I remember my grandmother used to say "Lordy" once in a while, but that's about it.

Also, a nit to pick: issue 30 finds Robin, as Starfire stands beside him, informing D.A. Chase that the Brotherhood is after Raven because they believe she holds the power to defeat Brother Blood. Problem is, I don't believe Robin should know this yet. He is, at this point, unaware that the villains even tried to kidnap Raven, having left Titans' Tower before their attack -- and they never even declared their reason for coming after Raven during that fight, anyway! This oddity is driven home later in the very same issue as the Brotherhood member Phobia orders her teammates to grab Raven, and this objective comes as a surprise to Starfire. Seems Wolfman must've been scripting this issue piecemeal, and forgot who knew and said what.

We also learn in 30, from Chase, that the gangster the Titans caught in the "Runaways" storyline is back on the streets. This seems an odd aside to make, unless perhaps it's destined to tie into Chase's eventual transformation into a black-clad Vigilante, but time will have to tell, I suppose.

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