Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Co-Creators: Marv Wolfman & George Pérez | Embellisher: Romeo Tanghal
Letterers: Bob Lappan (#40) & John Costanza (#41) | 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 40) Brother Blood preaches to his flock. Meanwhile, Changeling and Terra are tutored by a teacher at Steve Dayton's estate before heading to Manhattan for an appearance with the other Titans (minus Dick Grayson) on Bethany Snow's news program. Wonder Girl debates a group of newly elected politicians over an arms shipment to Zandia, and Brother Blood joins the broadcast via satellite to assuage the public's concerns.

Later, Dick goes undercover as a reporter and meets with the three congresspeople who were voted out of office due to their connections with Blood. It turns out they were framed, so Dick offers to send them to Zandia as a fact finding committee. Soon after, accompanied by Bethany as well, the group heads to the island nation. But Dick is recognized in spite of his disguise, and Blood uses him to lure the Titans to his temple, where he captures them.

(issue 41) Brother Blood prepares to execute the Titans, but Raven's soul self saves them. Blood tests the Titans with his monsters, then challenges them to a duel. Meanwhile, the visiting congresspeople observe evidence elsewhere in Zandia of Blood's benevolence and the current regime's cruelty.

Blood battles and defeats the Titans, then traps them in an energy field and orders the brainwashed Dick Grayson to kill them. But Stafire's love for Dick overcomes his programming and he turns on Blood even as the Zandian military assaults Blood's temple. Blood plummets into a deep pit with his machinery and the temple is destroyed. As the Titans head home, they watch Bethany Snow's report stating that the congresspeople will work to sanction Zandia, while nations around the world have opened their borders to Brother Blood's church.

My Thoughts: Wolfman and Pérez are clearly playing a long game with Brother Blood. He's appeared several times, but we still know nothing about his origins or his master plan. What we do know is that he pretended to back a senator and two representatives in their campaigns in order to frame them for supporting him, then he tricked them into working toward his cause on their way out of office. Now, thanks to his apparent death at the hands of Zandia's President Marko, it appears his church is poised to make its way into countries all over the world. It's a labyrinthine and perhaps overly complex plot, but Blood's Gothic horror style excuses some of the unnecessary indulgences.

In other news, Terra seems surprised when Cyborg rescues her twice during the fights with Blood and his monsters. He tells her she would've done the same for him and she says that "mebbe" she would've at that. This brings up a plot point from "The Judas Contract" that I honestly can't recall: does Terra redeem herself during that storyline? Do the Titans rub off on her? Even though I've read the story I have no recollection. Thus far she seems pretty irredeemable during her scenes with Deathstroke, and while we occasionally see her thoughts, they're usually of the moment and not any deeper. But I suppose we'll have an answer to all this soon enough, as "The Judas Contract" begins next issue.

Now let's take a moment to discuss the Titans' comically casual disregard for their secret identities. Consider this: Wonder Girl, Starfire, Cyborg, Changeling, and Terra appear on Bethany Snow's live TV program in issue 40. Dick Grayson is in the audience. Once the show is over, a dark haired girl, a short blonde, a gold-skinned young lady with insane hair, and a green dog are seen strolling down the street, away from Snow's studio, in the company of Cyborg-in-civilian clothes and Dick Grayson.

Do these kids have secret identities or not?? Even if we buy that Starfire is able to pass for human, something I still can't swallow, and even if we suspend our disbelief to the absurd point where no one would recognize her and Wonder Girl, neither of whom wears a mask, walking around the city in normal clothes... they're hanging out with a GREEN TALKING DOG and a guy who is CLEARLY CYBORG!!!

Beyond that, shouldn't we imagine that, even in the pre-Internet era, Dick Grayson has probably found his way into the tabloids once in a while, being the ward of millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne? So if Dick is seen out and about with Cyborg, isn't it possible his identity as Robin could be found out and traced back to Bruce? This seems especially careless of Dick, since he must worry about not only his own identity, but his mentor's as well.

Furthermore, issue 41 finds Brother Blood well aware that Robin's real name is Richard, and Starfire calls him Dick multiple times as well, right in front of Blood. Now he doesn't mention Dick's last name (except on the cover, where artistic license can be taken), but even if he hasn't yet figured it out, wouldn't we assume that, just as Ra's al Ghul once did with the Batman, Blood might be able to match Dick's face and name with -- again -- the ward of millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, thus exposing Batman's secret to one of the most scheming, conniving villains out there?

I guess what it comes down to is that I'm very disappointed in Dick Grayson's casual disregard for Batman's secret identity. But moreso, Wolfman and Pérez don't seem to put much thought into the Titans' secrets. It's all hand-waved, which leads to some extremely frustrating scenes now and then. Just let them all -- except Robin, I guess -- simply have publicly known identities and be done with it.


  1. I wonder if Donna, Kory, and Tara really care about their identities? I do agree it does appear sloppy of Dick (although he does try to separate his civilian ID from the Titans later in the Wolfman/Perez run (in Omnibus 3)). Guess it's a matter of suspension of belief.
    At any rate, it appears Blood already knew about Dick from much earlier. Did you wonder how Blood got Dick so easily in this story? Remember the Confessor's torture in NTT#22? It appears the baddies' word that they couldn't brainwash him was just for show. In truth, the torture had allowed Blood to get his claws into Dick.
    As for Terra, I suppose her comment to Cyborg is a red herring; her hesitant response of reciprocating protection is actually a quick recovery from a sudden moment of indecision.
    Note Steve Dayton's attitude to Gar. The two never had an easy relationship (check out the cover of DOOM PATROL#102 that brings them together for the first time), and it will get worse in Wolfman's non-Perez run of the title.

    1. Y'know, I hadn't really thought about Blood's easy control over Dick being related to the inquisitors from that previous issue, but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense! I love foreshadowing/planning ahead like that.

      I agree with you that Terra's exchange with Cyborg was just her "acting the part," but I find it interesting that, even as he showed her being pretty irredeemably evil in her scenes with Deathstroke, Wolfman still tossed in little bits like this to make readers wonder if, just maybe, she might see the light in the end.

      Dayton's relationship with Changeling is interesting. I had thought they'd reconciled after the earlier Doom Patrol storyline, when they went on vacation with Robotman for a few issues, but apparently that's not the case. I read the Pérez-free issues 51 - 58 recently, and it's pretty clear there that their relationship is just as rocky as ever (and I believe it will be commented on in the posts for those issues). Too bad; I had hoped things were smoothed over between them.