Man, this was tough.
I knew that once I started the Titans series, I was going to hit a point where this team is put through the wringer several times over, something that would eventually lead to them breaking up, with several of them headed to the Justice League and a couple of them heading back over to Teen Titans. And while I’d read most of these stories once, I didn’t remember very much about them, especially since this was during the period in which I wasn’t buying comics and all. But once I got back into comics, I knew what had happened to the Titans and I also knew it was more or less awful. I also know that I bought the majority of these particular comics out of a sense of completist obligation.
It’s hard to say how I truly feel about this era of DC, because it’s pretty much a mess, and that mess (at least in my mind) started with Countdown to Final Crisis. During the year or so that comprises these issues, you’re coming off one event that’s a kinda sorta crossover (It bears repeating that Final Crisis is weird because it’s supposed to be self-contained but has tie-ins that may or may not “count” and it seems to reverberate into some titles but not others), and you’re getting into another event that wasn’t supposed to be a crossover but kinda sorta became one (because from what I remember, Geoff Johns intended Blackest Night to only be a Green Lantern story).
When it comes to Blackest Night and this read-through, I decided not to read the entire event front to back. I think I might do that at some point when I decide to do a Green Lantern read-through (especially now that I can fill in whatever holes there are in the series via DC Infinite). So I just read the Titans miniseries, which was basically a Return of the Living Dead Titans story. Since there are quite a few dead Titans out there, and we lose at least two over the course of Blackest Night–Tempest (and I have to ask … why?) and Hawk (whose death was there to obviously make room for the resurrection of Hank Hall). It’s an okay miniseries, even though it’s basically Titans trauma porn. In the very least, we know that Don Hall, aka Dove I, is at peace and will never be brought back.
What was interesting is how the events bled into the regular Titans book. Starting in issue #14, we have a series of six issues that each focus on a specific team member. The team’s licking its wounds from the Deathtrap storyline but each member is also trying to find their way in a world that is becoming increasingly confusing. The stories are actually all right, with a “personal lives” touch to them. In my three favorite stories, Cyborg is trying to get back to his human side and actually goes on a date (plus we see the return of Sarah Simms and it’s great to see her and the kids she teaches); Donna Troy’s photography business might start up again and she considers a move to Miami; and Starfire is trying to deal with the trauma of being taken over by Darkseid during Final Crisis. I do have to say, though, the Starfire story was a bit incomplete because we never did get the zoomed-in crossover issue of Titans for Final Crisis, just the glimpses in this issue.
Oh, there’s also an issue with Roy and Lian Harper, which … dammit, do I have to talk about Cry for Justice?
Seriously. I can’t think of a lower point in Titans history or in the DCU. I would rather read the post-#100, Bill Jaaska-drawn issues of New Titans than ever read this again.
And no. I’m not going to recap it.
Anyway, this is where the Titans books diverge again. After being nicely tied together and having a good continuity, we are now headed in three different directions. The Teen Titans will continue to be the Teen Titans until issue #100, with Raven and Beast Boy (I still miss Changeling) being on that team. We follow the Titans into Justice League of America, which is written by James Robinson at this point. And then we’ll follow Roy Harper/Arsenal into this particular Titans book where it becomes a team of villains headed by Deathstroke and that includes Roy, who is back on heroin and hooking up with Cheshire.
I’ll be starting this home stretch with the JLA stuff, then moving to Titans and finishing up with Teen Titans, only because I want to save the better issues for last.
One thought on “Titans #14-23, Blackest Night: Titans, Justice League of America: Cry for Justice, The Rise of Arsenal/Fall of Green Arrow”
Nice post! whose your favourite superhero of all time ?