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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Graphic Novels - Teen Titans Vol. 5: Life and Death - Part Two

Sup guys. It’s arw1985 back with part 2 of Life and Death. At this moment, it’s the 22nd, I’m listening to my iTunes, and I’m thinking about someone from lunch yesterday (Who? None ya business! Ha!). I also got a new camera this weekend, and I like it. Anyway, let me get on to the creative team for these parts. By the way, it’s big.
  • Geoff Johns - … ‘Nuff Said (lol).
  • Marv Wolfman – Let’s see,... the man’s a legend! Because of this guy, Teen Titans (or should I say New Teen Titans) became a household name in the 80’s. This guy also wrote that other ‘Crisis’ (COIE) event too. He’s also written on countless books, so look him up.
  • Bill Willingham – writer of the Robin issues.
  • Bill Williams - ...I have no freaking clue what he does.
  • Todd Nanuck – He does the artwork in TT #31 and #32.
  • Ed Benes – Nice artist. He does some pencils in the Titans Annual.
  • Phil Jimenez – The main penciller from the main crossover book. His artwork is from IC #6 (which won’t be talked about for a while because…_______ ______.
  • Ivan Reis – Some of his work from IC is included.
  • Scott McDaniel – the artist of the Robin issues.
  • Dale Eaglesham – a good artist. He does some of the art in the Titans Annual.
  • Tom Grindburg – He also does some art in the Annual.
  • Elton Ramalho – He also does a little art in the Annual (wow! Those are a lot of pencilers).


Since I didn’t note it last time, I’ll note it here. This volume contains Teen Titans #29-33, Robin #146-147, Teen Titans Annual #1, and some stuff from Infinite Crisis #5 and 6. So let’s start to end this.


Issue 32
We start out with Conner in Smallville watching Superman being “all he can be” on TV. Conner decides that it’s finally time to join the fight (FINALLY!!!). As he goes outside to tell Ma and Pa about this, he’s shocked to see PRIME talking to them and telling them that he’s Conner’s replacement.

We then move to Key Mordaz, FL, where the Doom Patrol is about to go out and kick some bad guy butt. Beast Boy shows up. The team and Beast Boy have no memory of each other (See, Gar used to be on the DP back in the day). Gar then asks why Rita Farr (Elasi-Girl) is still alive.

In Smallville, PRIME starts to attack Conner an almost hurts the Kents (Jerk). As they fight, we then move into familiar territory as we see the events from Infinite Crisis #4 as Krypto attacks PRIME and get hurt. Conner is able to get to his Titans Communicator and sends a message to the rest of the Titans. He then gets up to fight the whiny boy.

Back in Key Mordaz, Gar tells them of a dream where the Doom Patrol died at the hands of a villain called General Zahl. The older teammates thinks he’s nuts, but Professor Xavier …Oh! I mean Professor Niles Caulder then tells them that he has had the same dream. At that moment, Gar communicator stars to beep.

We then move to another familiar moment from IC #4: the arrival of the Teen Titans and reserves, the JSA, and the Doom Patrol. Superboy is not doing too well from the injuries he received from PRIME. Even Raven can’t heal him with her powers, but that’s because of the Spectre’s war on magic. The big group descends on PRIME, but he still too much for them to handle. Speedy then decides that it’s finally time to use the emergency arrow that Arsenal (the first Speedy) gave her. Apparently, Roy stole the arrow from the Fortress of Solitude. Can you guess what it is? No? Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s the Phantom Zone arrow (yeah, a Phantom Zone arrow).

Introducing the Phantom Zone Arrow! It...well....sends people to the Phantom Zone! Got an annoying sibling? Simple! Use the arrow! Have an annoying boss? Solution! The arrow! Prices are starting at $1,000!

She shoots it at PRIME, and he gets trapped in the Phantom Zone. Remember that this is Superboy-PRIME (man, I feel like Megatron), so you know he gets out. He literally punches his way out of the Zone (Man, I bet Zod wishes he could do that!). This powerful punch does something to reality causes everyone to remember the Doom Patrol and Beast Boy’s time on the team. See…I’ll just put the reason why the Doom Patrol was forgotten about: SUPERBOY-PRIME WALL PUNCH (aka DC Editorial lol), and that’s all I will say about that.

A wall punch that changes reality…only DC can get away with this.

After all of this, we then get another familiar point from IC #4: the slaughtering of some of the Titans reserves. At this point, the Flashes come up with a plan. Bart goes to Cassie and Tim and tells them to stick together, and then he joins the rest of the Flashes and goes into the Speed Force. The last part involves the heroes recuperating and tending to their injured, and Conner narrates the last page. We see Red Star thaw out and live, Risk getting tended to, and Conner still being helped.

Robin 146
We are back at Titans Tower with the Titans. Conner isn’t doing too well and is on the verge of dying. Robin tells them and Conner that he knows of a cure that can cure our Boy of Steel. He, Cassie, Mia, and Gar (who apparently got replaced by the Gar of 1983) go to a hidden lab of Lex Luthor’s to get the formula. When they get there, they are able to get undetected thanks to Robin’s plans. Unfortunately, they get hounded by some robots. Luckily, Wonder Girl’s here. ‘Nuff Said. As they go deeper in the lab, Mia wonders if Luthor has the cure to HIV lying around somewhere. Knowing Luthor, he probably does, but since he obsessed with killing Superman, they won’t see it. The team then runs into more trouble when they run into a mutated clone of Brainiac (also known as BRAY----NE-----ACK!!!!!)

Hmm...awkward?

Robin 147
The issue starts out with the team fighting the clone. It takes a while to beat the monster (about 7 pages), but the eventually beat it. Robin finds the cure, and boy, there is a lot of it. So, the team grabs all they can, and begin to head out as the robots come. Meanwhile, Raven checks in on Conner and tells him to hold on.

Back in the lab, the team marches on through the security forces in the lab. As they fight, they end up losing vials of the cure along the way. They go up against more clones and they lose more vials. After they win the battle, they find out that Speedy has one more vial and they leave the lab to head back to the Tower. They make it back and administer the cure to Conner. It works!!! Robin then goes by himself to a room where he contacts Lex Luthor. Apparently, he was the one who gave Robin the plans on his own lab. They share a few words and the conversation ends.


Teen Titans Annual 1
We start out at Titans Tower in the infirmary. Conner is still recuperating in the tank from his battle from PRIME. Lex shows up via teleporter to check up on Conner’s progress. We then get about a page or two detailing Conner’s origins from Lex’s view (we even get Jebidiah Luthor here. Nice!). As he leaves the crystal shard from the hidden fortress in Conner’s clothes, Robin and Cassie walk in on him. They taunt each other a little, and it comes out that Lex told Robin about the secret base where they found the cure for Conner’s condition. After a few taunts, Lex leaves and the team gets back to their other problem: helping out in Bludhaven. Raven is even hearing the thoughts and feeling of everyone in Bludhaven, I think.

The Titans leave for Bludhaven, while Cassie (whose powers are still messed up thanks to Paradise Island disappearing) stays and watches over Conner. As Cassie sits there tries to talk to Conner, Conner wakes up and bust out of his Bacta Echo Tank. Conner is still weak, but he’s willing to help whoever he can.

Meanwhile, in Bludhaven, heroes like Green Arrow, Black Lightning and Dr. Light (you know, the female version) help clean up and help get people evacuated from the destruction. As the Titans show up to help, all is not going well because the Society poisoned the water supply for the survivors. As the heroes help the city, Nightwing watches his city in ruins. Suddenly, some idiot decides to throw in Dick’s call to the heroes from IC #5. Why? We haven’t even gotten that far yet. I guess someone meant to put at the end of this issue, but something happened. Oh well… Anyway, Raven is trying to help some people when her powers start acting up and the villain Psimon starts messing with her. Luckily, Robin shows up to stop Psimon and the rest of the Society. When he gets, knocked down, he gets some unexpected help from the Man of Steel himself. After all of that, Robin fills Superman in on the situation and tells him that it sucks. He also tells Superman that he and the rest of the Titans are going to take charge of the rescue mission. Superman tells him to and that he will help them out.

He should do this more often.

Back at the Tower, Conner is still getting his strength back and Cassie is making him something to eat. They end up talking about a lot of things: the past, Wonder Woman, and the fact that her powers are gone. Conner, whose powers have somewhat returned, and then decides to fly Cassie to somewhere where they can be regular kids (hmm…). Back in Blüdhaven, the rescuing continues, but it’s slow and arduous. Superman tells everyone that Robin and the Titans will lead the effort. Tim takes his new responsibility well.

Conner flies Cassie back to Smallville, and he gives her a tour of the small town. He then takes her the farm, which looks a bit familiar. Anyway, they talk some more …and then they begin to make love. Aw.

This needs some music. (looks around) Here's some!

The next morning, Ma and Pa Kent end up finding the two in the barn. Of course, they’re like WTC, but Ma would like to know more about Cassie, so she invites Cassie to breakfast. In Bludhaven, the team has gotten through the night. When they hear of more trouble, The Titans go and take care of it. Robin feels that something’s missing without Conner, Cassie, and Bart. Back in Smallville, Conner gets the signal from Nightwing and decides to leave and join him. He says his goodbyes to the Kents and Cassie, who’s staying at the farm until her powers return… somehow.

IC #5
We then get the same pages from IC #5 where Dick and Conner meet and the multiverse returns. This is where that other page I talked about earlier should have been. They get ready to kick some butt.

Issue 33
Nightwing gets into his somewhat cool older costume while Conner narrates about how cool Dick is (hey, it’s true). They talk to each other about what the plan is: they fly from San Fran all the way to the Arctic while many Earths keep popping up and causing trouble (Nice plan). As they go, Dick thinks to himself that Conner isn’t at 100 % for this mission, while Conner thinks to himself that Dick doesn’t really trust him.

I don't know, I personally liked the uniform with the collar better.

Back in Smallville, Cassie gets some alone time away from the Kents. When she does, she calls out Ares’ name. Ares shows up, and in style too. Cassie asks her half brother what is wrong with her powers. Apparently, the gods are leaving this plane or something like that, and Zeus is taking all of his power with him. Ares is even leaving. He knew something like this might happen, so he will let Cassie have some of his own power but with one catch: Accept him as her brother (whew, I thought it’d be something worse!). Cassie accepts.

Meanwhile, our two heroes fly over Vancouver in the Batplane until a ship is wreck and lives are in trouble. After they end up saving the people on the boat, Superboy weakens a little (fighting demigods does that to you). Nightwing tries to tell Conner to take it easy on himself, but Conner ain’t having it. Suddenly, something explodes and Dick is knocked into the water. Conner goes in and saves him. Dick tells Conner to get his spare costume in the Batplane, which blows up eventually. The two then hash their thoughts out. With a little help from that crystal shard (which shows Dick’s memories with the Titans), Dick reassures Conner that he does trust him and tells him to stop being hard on himself. Conner takes the crystal and remembers how he pretty much got to this point in life. The crystal shows stuff from his life as well. He then starts to theorize that this time could be the time where the Titans end up going evil. Conner explains to Dick about the time the team 10 years into the future where they saw their older, eviler selves. Conner states that the Titans aren’t even together at this moment. Dick assures him that the future isn’t always written in stone and that the future is up to them. After all of that talk, Conner flies Dick to the Arctic, where they arrive at Alex Luthor’s fortress.

IC #6
…Stuff Happens. That is all. I’ll be getting to issue 6 next time.

……

So that ends this long discussion on this volume. Is it good? Yeah, it’s alright. There are some strong points and some weak points. It’s cool to see what happened in between the main issues of Infinite Crisis. It helps make the story a little more complete. The writing is pretty decent in most places, though the way Beast Boy was written in the Robin issues was annoying. I felt like I was reading about Gar from when he was younger (and even then, he wasn't this annoying). He’s actually not that annoying in the actual other books. Plus, wasn't he supposed to be in charge of the team? I guess since it was Robin’s book he had to be the main star, and Geoff Johns wasn’t writing it, so there. It was cool to see Conner and Cassie actually talk this time. I only remember them talking only about a few times, so it’s good to have them interacting more. I think their ‘scene’ is handled as well as it could have been. It literally felt like something from Smallville or something. The artwork was pretty decent. The only art I might not like as much would be from the Robin issues. It’s not bad, but it’s not my kind of art, ya know? The art in the annual was pretty good. Benes, of course, can draw real good. The rest were also good. The other two issues’ artwork was good, but I have to admit it’s not great. I guess that’s all I have to say about the volume. Come back next time when I hit the 6th issue of Infinite Crisis.

NEXT TIME: STUFF HAPPENS. MAJOR STUFF HAPPENS!!!

Oh yeah!

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