Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Comics on the Bubble: Devin Grayson's Titans (1999)

Wow. Talk about a rough era of comics.

Beast Boy isn't on the team. Flash is constantly talking about the better team he's on (the JLA), and Cyborg is a gold alien robot. What? This barely feels like the Titans. I can appreciate Devin Grayson wanting to honor all previous eras of the book by including characters like Argent and Damage, but man, there is too much drama in this. Donna Troy has some wacked-out situation where she never really existed, so she was re-formed by Wally West's memories? I know that most of these problems don't stem from Grayson's writing, but she doesn't help by continually dredging up this silly drama. The choice of villains is kind of weird too.

I will say, this run has the best take on Arsenal that I think I've read. I mean, I hate the guy, but he's almost likeable here. Almost. Tempest is pretty fun here too. I think I actually thought he was cool at this point.

I can't complain about the art, it is generally pretty decent. Mark Buckingham handles the bulk, and like his "realistic" take on the heroes. Tempest in particular seems like a nice, normal dude when drawn like this. He doesn't draw Starfire quite as... endowed as I'm used to, though. I've been spoiled by REBELS!

The run holds up a lot stronger than I thought it would!

  • Issue 1: Most of the issue has the team talking in a seafood restaurant. SELL

  • Issue 2: The Titans need to show Superman they are all grown up as they fight the HIVE. Not bad, actually. KEEP

  • Issue 3: The team takes on Marilyn Manson... sorry, Goth! The issue is complete with awful lyrics and acting out teenagers. SELL

  • Issue 4: More Goth. SELL

  • Issue 5: Character focus on Tempest, Damage, and Argent. They take on a cool new mermaid villainess, Siren. KEEP

  • Issue 6: Guest-starring the best GL ever, Kyle Rayner. KEEP

  • Issue 7&8: Weird little speed villain story. Fairly generic. SELL

  • Issue 9: Unnecessary crossover with Day of Judgement. Not good. SELL

  • Issue 10-12: Strongest arc of the run. The Titans face off against Vandal Savage's Tartarus, made up of some of the best Titans villains and guest-starring Deathstroke. KEEP

  • Issue 13: Aftermath issue. Beautiful art by Patrick Zircher. KEEP

  • Issue 14: Brian Vaughn helps on the writing and solid art from Cully Hamner. The team actually seems more competent once it slims down. KEEP

  • Issue 15-16: This issue plays into Grayson's worst tendencies. She focuses on the old Teen Titans and they spend a long time wallowing in their interpersonal issues. It's sort of a chore to get through. I hate most of the team. SELL

Summary: SELL 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16.
KEEP 2, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,

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