Wednesday, March 18, 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: In St. Louis, a pair of young men named Tavis and Gan -- a.k.a. Thunder and Loghtning -- wreak havoc on a neighborhood as they search for someone. Meanwhile, the Titans return to Titans' Tower following their adventure in Zandia. Robin immediately departs, leaving the rest of the group to unwind. Speedy leaves as well, to return to his anti-drug organization, while Frances invites Kid Flash to quit the Titans and return home with her.

Later, Thunder ad Lightning are cornered by the U.S. military. Speedy gets wind of their confrontation and informs the Titans. Sans Robin, the group heads to St. Louis, where they learn that the young men are looking for an Army lieutenant named Walter Williams. A brief skirmish ensues, ending with Thunder and Lightning pausing to recap their origin as the children of Williams and a Vietnamese woman. Born Siamese twins, they were separated and grew up with superpowers.

Following this tale, an army officer appears, informing Thunder and Lightning that Williams last resided in a fishing village in Maine. Thunder and Lightning immediately depart for the village, but are chased by the Titans. There they fight again, and the Titans are victorious. Wonder Girl, having made a side trip to Wasington D.C., arrives and reports that Williams' home was destroyed recently and no bodies were found.

Believing themselves near death due to their powers, Thunder and Lightning surrender. At Cyborg's suggestion, they're taken to S.T.A.R. Labs for stabilization. Meanwhile, Wonder Girl reports to the Titans that Williams was actually a military scientist, and that she believes he is still alive.

My Thoughts: Well, the hit parade couldn't last forever. After a nicely strong series of installments since the Titans returned from space, we reach this dud. Thunder and Lightning are not engrossing, their origin is a little silly, and I don't feel for them at all. The mystery of their father is a plot point of minor interest, but that's about it.

Wolfman does, however, find time to work some sub-plots into the issue, and those fare much better than the main story. Robin's still in a foul mood and leaves in a huff. Starfire begins to wonder if she's wrong to love him. Cyborg is still upset about Sarah's fiancé. Wonder Girl continues to be unsure about accepting Terry's proposal. Kid Flash thinks that he's reached a decision regarding his Titans' membership, but doesn't yet announce it. Wonder Girl refuses to allow Raven to use her healing powers due to her recent bouts with the dark side. And the one sided flirting between Changeling and the crass Terra seem to be burgeoning into something more. It's just too bad all these nifty character bits couldn't have been threaded through a more interesting story.

And I have to toss a little credit to George Pérez, as well. As usual, even when the story is lackluster, he turns in a beautiful art job to elevate it somewhat. The final battle in Maine, on a dark and rain-stormy night, is particularly fun to look at.

The Plot: With the help of Aqualad, the Titans and the NYPD dredge the corpse of a villain named Trident from beneath the water off a New York pier. His work done, Aqualad departs while the rest of the group returns to Titans' Tower.

Starfire leaves to search for the still-absent Robin as the remaining Titans describe their encounters with Trident throughout the previous day: Cyborg and Changeling fought him in the morning after he stole over $100,000 from a bank. That afternoon, Wonder Girl and Raven encountered him at a museum. And after nightfall, Kid Flash and Terra found him terrorizing a drive-in movie theater. The Titans all agree on the nature of his powers, but their impressions of his personality vary wildly.

Having dropped by Wayne Manor to find Robin has moved out, Starfire returns to Titans' Tower for the tail end of these recaps. She tumbles to the obvious idea that there was a different man inside the costume each time Trident appeared. Cyborg then uses the trident confiscated from the Trident corpse and traces its energy signature to the location where two remaining Tridents, having killed their third partner after he withheld the amount of money he'd stolen, are holed up. The Titans defeat and arrest these remaining Tridents.

Meanwhile, Robin and D.A. Adrian Chase break into the estate Anthony Scarapelli and burst into the drug runner's den to attack.

My Thoughts: Nice recovery, guys. I figured out Trident's deal about halfway through the story, but that didn't stop this from being a well-written and nicely structured mystery. If there was one thing I couldn't figure out, it's that one of the Tridents mentions something about a "firehead character" he expected might try to stop his robbery. Is this an overly oblique reference to Firesrorm? Did he operate in New York City too? I have no idea.

Anyway -- nice to see Robin off on his own secret mission. I always enjoy those sorts of "side stories" when one character from a super-team leaves to do his own thing and we follow his adventure via short sub-plot pages until it inevitably blossoms into a full issue's plot. And once more, D.A. Chase tells Robin that he envies the freedom enjoyed by him and Batman as they work outside the law. Wolfman is certainly telegraphing his eventual jump into Vigilantism, but I suppose that if a reader didn't know that was coming, these might come off as simple asides.

Lastly, for the second time in three issues, Wolfman has Starfire angrily declare to her teammates that she's not as dumb as everyone thinks she is; that she's simply confused by Earthly customs. She's never come off as unintelligent to me; only naive. But I wonder if readers had some mistaken impression that she was a ditz and Wolfman felt a need to correct them?

Though my favorite part of that bit is a comment from Terra which sets Starfire off, as she jokes that Starfire "won the 'golden globes' award". Wolfman's double-entendres about Starfre's voluptuousness never get old.

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