Monday, May 11, 2015


Writer: Marv Wolfman | Penciler: Rich Buckler | Finisher: Mike DeCarlo
Letterer: Phil Felix | Colorist: Adrienne Roy

The Plot: Lilith is attacked outside Titans' Tower by Deathstroke, who then promptly disappears. The Titans head to S.T.A.R. Labs because Lilith senses a bond with the winged alien who was defrosted during their last trip there. Lilith radiates heat and frees the alien, who escapes.

Meanwhile, Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson is on trial as Changeling sits in the gallery watch. The Titans show up to testify against the villain, whose defense counsel's strategy is to suggest anyone could be under Deathstroke's mask and Slade Wilson is not actually the man the Titans have fought. When Samuel Abrams, the banker who Deathstroke kidnapped months earlier, takes the stand, he admits that Wilson might not be the man who abducted him.

My Thoughts: This story is basically one long chase scene with a few other bits and pieces thrown in -- the tennis game advertised on the cover, a mixed doubles match between Robin & Starfire and Wonder Girl & Terry, makes up the first few pages -- and along the way we learn that Lilith is developing a new, involuntary heat-generation power which the other Titans misattribute to the alien; and that Changeling has some sort of plan in place to make sure Deathstroke pays for his crimes if the law goes too lightly on him. Oh, and Cyborg has fixed up Titans' Tower with a holodeck.

In other news, Wonder Girl is back from her honeymoon. That felt quick; much as I like the character, I wouldn't have minded seeing her gone longer. Maybe not as long as Cyclops over in X-MEN, whose honeymoon lasted over a year of publication time, but certainly maybe four or five issues.

Wolfman throws in some continuity bits as well, bringing back the banker who Deathstroke used as a hostage in issue 34, reminding readers that Starfire can learn someone's language by touching them and that Jericho and his mother are being held by Interpol for questioning following the past two issues. Curiously, he also footnotes THE NEW TEEN TITANS #7 - 10, issues of the other ongoing title which, if all goes according to plan, will be reprinted in this series in due time -- and therefore, as I understand it, haven't happened yet chronologically.

And, most interestingly to me, former D.A. Adrian Chase -- the Vigilante -- is the judge at Deathstroke's trial. Narration indicates that he "was once" a costumed Vigilante, implying he's given the role up. But the internet indicates his series ran until issue 50 in 1988. So I don't know what's going on there. But in any case, I liked Chase's earlier appearances alongside Robin several issues back, so it's nice to see him putting in a cameo here.

Overall this is a decent, if not outstanding issue. Rich Buckler's artwork continues to impress me more than I ever thought it could based on his Marvel work, and Wolfman's continuity nods are a nice touch. Unfortunately, the story's "A" plot, the winged alien, does absolutely nothing to keep my interest. But Deathstroke is set to take center stage over the next couple issues, so my expectations are up.

Incidentally, it may be worth noting, as we come up toward the end of our TEEN TITANS retrospective, that issue 53 is cover dated for thirty years ago this very month. Remember, after we finish covering TALES up through issue 58 we're going to jump back in time about a year to the second NEW TEEN TITANS series to wrap this run up, but I thought this was worth mentioning now.


  1. Lilith's heat ability comes from her mother, the Titan Sun Goddess Thia. Living it up with the mortals for most of a century, the goddess wanted a child, she met the right guy, and consumed him into ash the moment after conception (Arella was lucky...). However, the child was spirited away from her and her location a mystery for two decades. Thia finally relocating Lilith will set the stage for the second arc of the Baxter series.
    As for Adrian Chase, I think he went through a period of disillusionment over being a Vigilante and gave the law one more chance. The VIGILANTE series covered this period, which I believe didn't work out.

    1. Huh. DC's gods and goddesses seem much less benevolent than Marvel's!