Monday, March 23, 2015


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

Note: This issue does not have credits in THE NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS volume 2. The above credits are pulled from the DC wiki.

The Plot: At his apartment in Manhattan, Deathstroke discusses his next plan with his manservant, Wintergreen. Meanwhile, the Titans throw a sixteenth birthday party for Terra. She believes she has proved herself to them and asks why they don't trust her with their identities and other secrets. As Wonder Girl leaves to go see Terry, Kid Flash informs her that he plans to quit the Titans.

Meanwhile, Robin and D.A. Chase fight through Anthony Scarapelli's men and arrest Scarapelli on a warrant for possession of illegal firearms. Elsewhere, Deathstroke kidnaps a stockbroker while Wonder Girl accepts Terry's proposal, but asks for time to learn about her past before the wedding. Sarah Simms calls Titans' Tower for Cyborg, but he has no interest in talking to her. At her apartment, she kicks her "fiancé" Mark out, as she called off their engagement a year before but he won't let her go.

Deathstroke calls Titans' Tower and tells Changeling to surrender the Titans to him or he will kill the broker. But Terra knocks Changeling out and goes to face Deathstroke on her own in Manhattan. The Titans follow and in the end, it is Terra who gets the better of Deathstroke. But the villain apparently blows himself up rather than be captured. In the aftermath of the fight, the Titans officially welcome Terra as a worthy member.

Later, Terra goes to the tenament where she had been held by terrorists and meets Deathstroke. The entire fight was part of his plan to plant her among the Titans as a mole. Meanwhile, Robin argues with Chase over his obsessive methods and leaves in a huff. But as he prepares to drive away, he sees a bomb detonate far above in Chase's apartment.

My Thoughts: Something is off with Wolfman's timeline here. First, on page one, the omniscient narrator declares that Terra has been Titan for "months" now. That might have been true in publication time, but it's impossible in story time.

To wit: Terra began to hang out with the group in issue #29 and "officially" joined in 30, the same issues where Speedy showed up. In 30 Raven was kidnapped to Zandia. The Titans gave chase in 31 and returned to the U.S. in 32. Speedy and Robin both departed immediately upon their arrival at the tower. All that stuff happened in quick succession, likely within a 24 to 48 hour span.

At the beginning of 32, Thunder and Lightning were on their rampage in St. Louis. Now, there is a page-turn in that issue where it seems as if some time has passed, but there's no way it was months. It was a day at most, if that. The Titans are, after all, called to St. Louis to stop Thunder and Lightning after that time skip. I sincerely doubt the twins were trashing the city for all that long before the military called for help. At any rate, they certainly weren't at it for months.

So issues 29 - 32 all take place in quick succession. A few days, tops. Next is 33 -- and it should be noted that there is a clean ending to 32, with 33 picking up at some indeterminate time later -- but in that issue, Robin and Chase are seen spying on Scarapelli's estate, wondering how he got bailed out of prison so quickly after he was arrested -- a fact Chase had revealed to Robin in issue 30! Did they really spend months sitting on their hands before even so much as talking about this situation?

And furthermore, issue 33 ends on a cliffhanger as Robin and Chase burst into Scarapelli's house! 34 picks up right there again as the confrontation continues. So clearly no time whatsoever passes between these issue (despite the fact that after their altercation with Trident, the Titans found time to secretly prepare a birthday cake for Terra).

Oh, and on top of all that, Terry proposed to Donna in issue 30. I really hope she didn't leave the poor guy hanging for months while she mulled over her answer!

So, take that, omniscient narrator! "Months", indeed. It's been no more than a few days -- almost certainly less than a week -- since Terra joined the Titans in issue 29, and probably since 28 as well, which itself took place "days" after 27. I'm not sure why I'm so sensitive to stuff like this, but I just really like when superhero narratives take place in ultra-compressed timelines. Something about every story bleeding directly into the next really appeals to me. Were I the writer of a superhero comic, I would probably obsessively keep a behind-the-scenes calendar of exactly what was happening when.

Hmm, what's that you say? I was supposed to actually talk about this issue? Well then, a one sentence review: By way of Deathstroke's long overdue and much anticipated return, we've finally learned Terra's true allegiance, and Wolfman and Pérez have done a great job to this point building her up as sympathetic but edgy -- good work, guys; I can't wait till this comes to a head in "The Judas Contract"!


  1. Hmm, what's that you say? I was supposed to actually talk about this issue?

    No! I said: yes, he's going off-tangent, I love when they go off-tangent! Like in the school, you'd always be guaranteed a valuable lesson in life when the teacher would be like fup the curricula (for that one lesson) and engage with us in an open discussion over some matter of general importance that'd would come up somehow.

    I do love when a writer puts in the extra effort and keeps extensive notes over stuff behind the curtain. Or, in other words, does his job.

    1. Ah yes, I know exactly what you mean. The "impromptu" lectures were usually better than anything a teacher might've had on their lesson plan, and were usually the class sessions you remembered best as a result.

      It seems like not tracking things closely was also a trait shared by Wolfman and Claremont, between the former's issues with his own storyline and the latter's constantly forgetting about poor Banshee living on Muir Island after he retired (among other sometimes neglected supporting cast members).