Sunday, August 21, 2011

Graphic Novels - Teen Titans Vol. 6: Titans Around the World Part 1

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Well, it looks I’m back on the Geoff Johns train in going through these tpbs. This here is volume 6 of Teen Titans with issues 34 to 41 within it, so it looks like it’s going to be a long ride. I’m gonna hit the first four issues for this post though.

First, we kinda need some back story to what’s going on here or “Comic History You Don’t Care About But Need To Know In Order To Understand This” (and no I didn’t make that up):

When Infinite Crisis ended, DC decided to skip a year in continuity with all of its titles, and this is how you got One Year Later. I guess it was an okay move. Some books did good (the Superman books, and some others) and others did not do as good (example: NIGHTWING). Anyway, it was done to shake up the status quo, and it definitely did that with the Titans. At the end of IC, Superboy was dead (Spoiler Alert!), Bart was an adult, Cyborg was missing in space, and Robin left with Bruce to travel the world. If you want to know what happened in the skipped year, read 52 (I’ve read some of it and I might talk about it someday). The creative for this part is:

Geoff Johns – No duh!
Tony Daniel – Daniel pencils a majority of the issues during this time. His art’s pretty decent. Don’t know about his writing though.

So let’s get to it.

The New Teen Titans:

Part 1

The first few pages are of Cyborg in a sort of coma. Apparently, he and some others made it back from space during the lost year, but not in a good shape. Through his eyes, we see images from the missing year.
  • New Titans fighting among themselves
  • Gar and Raven talking
  • Gar going back to the Doom Patrol (?)
  • Two random kids messing with his hardware

Cyborg finally awakens from a year of being offline. He hears some commotion and he finds that Titans Tower is filled with new faces including Kid Devil, Wendy and Marvin (the two random kids) and the Ravager (Eh???). Vic, who doesn’t know what’s going on, attacks them. Robin, in his new duds, stops the fight and explains why these new folk are all here. He explains that Kid Devil and the Ravager are now Teen Titans and a lot has changed since Cyborg went into his "coma". He tells Cyborg that Superboy's dead, Raven is missing, Mia is with Connor Hawke, and Bart…changed. Also, new members have come and and left during the year.


Meanwhile, Gemini, a villain working for the Brotherhood of Evil, steals something from S.T.A.R. Labs. Wonder Girl (who decided to adopt Superboy’s style for some reason) stops Gemini just as Teen Titans show up. There is a little bit of strife between Cassie and Ravager when Ravager mentions that Robin has asked Wonder Girl to join the team three times but she has refused. Cassie also tells Robin says she felt abandoned by Robin when he went off to re-train himself with Batman a year ago. During all of this talk, Gemini escapes.

Later, back at the tower, Cyborg tries to contact Gar(who is now a member of the Doom Patrol) to get get the old team back together, but to no avail. Tim tells him that everyone has gone through some changes, even him. Robin then leaves and goes into a lab under Titans Tower (the Bird-Cave???), where he is….trying to re-clone Conner!!! Now I know this is Robin aka Batman-Lite, but still he ain’t that good.

Part 2 At the Doom Patrol’s mansion, Gar (Beast Boy) receives Cyborg’s message. At the Tower, Robin makes another attempt to clone Superboy after the 97th attempt. He returns to his bedroom….where Rose corners him, naked and a little drunk. Well, this is interesting! She comes onto Tim, but Tim manages to push her away, not wanting to get “That Close.” Before the situation can become even more somewhat weird, Kid Devil enters the room wowed by Rose and declaring that the Tower has an intruder.

Well, while some guys (maybe even me at that age, I don’t know) would have taken this opportunity to do something, Tim doesn’t. Good for him I guess. Who knows where Rose has been.

The intruder turns out to be Wonder Girl, who hasn’t been with the team ever since that time in 52. Rose (now clothed) get into a fight, which Cyborg breaks up. Vic sends Kid Devil and Rose away so he can talk to both Robin and Cassie. In Eddie’s room, Kid Devil goes talks to Blue Devil (who apparently calls four times a day) on the telephone. He and Ravager begin to talk and bond since they are the new kids on the block. It’s also mentioned that Rose is on the team because Nightwing wants her here and that Deathstroke (aka WORST FATHER EVER) actually pumped her up with super-serum, which is why she was all CRAZY back in the earlier issues.

Hmm...well, that's one way to do it!

In the War Room, Vic, Cassie, and Tim talk about the Brotherhood of Evil’s plans, as wells as why Cassie quit the team. She agrees to help them deal with the BoE, as well as find the old Titans (apparently Cyborg doesn’t count Eddie and Rose as real titans, which is a little douchy to me for some reason).The team then get word of the BoE attacking a cloning facility in New York, so they set out to kick some butt.

The Titans fly to New York and engage the Brotherhood. The fight goes a well as expected. It all goes downhill when Kid Devil attacks Plasmus. Plasmus has a burning touch and when he grabs Eddie, Eddie’s chest to burn and blister badly. After some more fighting, Warp teleports the rest of the BoE to freedom. The Titans can only stand and wait as the paramedics rush to Eddie's side. Unfortunately, the paramedics can do nothing for him. Suddenly, the X-Men…..oops, I mean the Doom Patrol (they both have dudes in wheelchairs okay?) come to lend a hand.

Part 3 We start out in Paris. The Brain (leader of the BoE) and Monsieur Mallah (his….lover??) stand outside a balcony in Paris, France. The Brain fantasizes about soon having a new human body. Following this, he swears to gain revenge against the Doom Patrol.

Meanwhile, the Doom Patrol and the Teen Titans bring the injured Kid Devil to the Doom Patrol’s headquarters. The Chief requires absolute privacy in his lab while he puts Eddie back together. Cyborg is real anxious to get back on hunting the Brotherhood of Evil. Vox opens up a portal using his new abilities, and he, a now-permanently-small Bumblebee, and the Negative Man go into it in order to look for the Brotherhood.

While the Chief operates on Eddie, the rest of the Titans mingle with the Doom Patrol. Vic is flabbergasted to see Vox and Bumblebee in their present conditions. It turns out that Mal’s horn blew up in his face and messed him up and Bumblebee got stuck in her small mode. Vic is even more surprised over the fact that Gar has left the Titans to be with the Doom Patrol again. Apparently, it hasn’t been too good there at the castle and Gar’s come back to liven up the place. Meanwhile on Gossip Girl, Ravager and Wonder Girl continue to yell at each other over Kid Devil's condition.

In the lab, Elasti-Girl helps the Chief with patching up Eddie. As they talk, The Chief then reminds Elasti-Girl that she’s a freak and not normal (uh, JERK!) who wouldn’t have any chance at a normal life without his guidance. Robin (aka Batboy) sneaks into the lab, hears this, and is a bit peeved about what the Chief said to Elasti-Girl.

You are no Professor Xavier! (I think, anyway)

Gar goes to the castle’s study room where his adopted stepfather Steve Dayton is using his old Mento helmet to help him write a novel for his wife Elast-Girl. Apparently, there's a glitch in it and Dayton isn't seeing clearly, which is disappointing Gar. Gar asks Steve to use the helmet to find the Brain's brainwaves, but Dayton feels that his writing is more important (…I guess he likes the helmet too much? I don’t know.).

Kid Devil's operation is a success and he is sitting up in bed. Tim comes in the room and asks him about his “telephone conversations” with Blue Devil. He reveals to Eddie that he spoke to Blue Devil himself and has discovered that BD hasn’t contacted Eddie in two years. Eddie confesses that he lied about keeping in touch with Blue Devil, but doesn’t say why. Outside, the Chief (aka JerkFace) basically tells the rest of the Titans that Eddie doesn’t belong in the Titans and that he needs to stay at the castle and join the Doom Patrol. Robin comes out of the shadows (wow, just throw the cowl on him already) and tells Chief that Eddie’s staying with the Titans. Gar and Robin then get into a argument about the Chief.

Before Eddie's future can be further discussed, Negative Man returns. He is injured and tells both teams that that the Brotherhood has captured Vox, Robotman, and Bumblebee. The teams go to Paris where it’s discovered that the Brain has done his own operation: He has cloned a human body for himself and has placed his brain in it.

Eww….Now, I know California would put this union under the file of “…..Wait! What The He---?”

Part 4 Back in Paris, the Titans and Patrol go up against the Brotherhood of Evil. The teams free the other DP members and a fight begins. Throughout the fight, Robin and Beast Boy argue about the Chief. The teams beat the BoE with ease.

The Brain tells the Doom Patrol that Niles Caulder (the Chief) was responsible for original body being destroyed. He claims that Caulder grew jealous of his own study and arranged for the accident to happen. The Doom Patrol doesn’t believe it of course. While he still tries to push the Chief’s name into the ground, the Brain’s new body begins to fall apart. Mallah grabs him and runs up the Effiel Tower, where they share a moment together watching the sun set. AW? The teams then find the headless body of the Brain. Robin’s a bit miffed that they failed in cloning. At a unknown location, the Brain’s brain is put back into his casing.

At the castle of the DP, Kid Devil is on his feet looking for the Titans as he finds Niles Caulder. The Chief…well…pretty much lies to Eddie, telling him that the Titans hate him for his devilish appearance. He tells him that the Doom Patrol will accept him. At that moment, the Titans and the DP reveal themselves to Eddie and Professor A-Hole as they have heard everything. An argument breaks out between the teams and the Chief with Caulder being a prick. Steve Dayton comes out without his helmet on and tells Caulder to stuff it and that he’s taking over as being leader of the Doom Patrol. Caulder rolls away in defeat.

Gar and Robin apologize to each other saying that both of their teams need work. As the Titans leave, Eddie gets a call from Blue Devil (for reals this time) saying that he’ll drop by the Tower later. BD doesn’t as Eddie sits on top of the Tower sulking. Rose (who just took a swim) shows up and they have another small talk moment.

In the Tower, Cyborg watches his security monitor from his comatose year. It shows all of the Titans, old and new, sharing their problems and hearts with him. Cassie shows up and tells him that she’s staying and that she will help them find these members that showed up during the past year. She then leaves to find Tim. Tim is in his Bird-Cave (?) still trying to clone Conner. When this 98th attempt fails, he gets mad and wrecks his equipment. Cassie hears the commotion and sees what he has done here. They argue about it, get sad about their lost friend, and then this happens:

Well, well, well!

And that’s where I’ll end this part at. Come back next time to find out who else joins the team and where I will give my opinion on the tpb itself.

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