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Family Troubles

January 12, 2010

     Felicia D. Henderson begins her run on Teen Titans, and after only two issues, it’s interrupted by an obligatory Blackest Night tie-in, written by J.T. Krul.  In her two-part story, Raven gets attacked by a mysterious chimera creature called the Wyld.  On Cyborg’s suggestion, Beast Boy returns to the Teen Titans to act as their leader, but the moment the team discovers the badly injured Raven, he focuses almost entirely on her.  The Wyld tracks her to Titans Tower, sneaks in, and takes out Miss Martian, as his undead-like minions attack the tower from without.  Beast Boy rushes back to rescue Raven while the Teen Titans take out the Wyld’s minions.  When they rescue Miss Martian, with the aid of one of the minions who seems to have been affected by Raven’s power, Miss Martian sends a message to Raven telepathically that wakes her up, and she chases off the Wyld.  Everyone agrees that Beast Boy is not acting much like a leader, but like it or not, he insists on staying.  In the Ravager back-up, she ends up discovering that Will Roades, the mysterious businessman from whom she has been running, is a former MI6 agent who deals various goods in the black market, including people (specifically women).  When she tries to rescue all the women he has captured, feeling some sympathy for women who have been used, she faces off against Will, who manages to defeat her and ships her off with the rest of them.  Then, in the Blackest Night tie-in, which takes place after the Ravager story, Ravager finds Deathstroke’s hideout to kill him once and for all.  Then, all of Deathstroke’s dead family, including the previous two Ravagers, Wintergreen, and Adeline Kane, show up to kill him.  Jericho is possessing one of them, his eyes having regrown and his powers come back to him.  Despite the hatred they have for their father, Ravager and Jericho help him take care of his undead family.  Jericho decides to give him a second chance, but Ravager refuses, instead choosing to look for her mother, who she believes is alive because she did not show up as a Black Lantern).

     Felicia D. Henderson’s debut on Teen Titans is a rather mixed bag.  She has the legacy of the team down pat, and at times, she uses some of the characters correctly, like Wonder Girl during her discussion with Beast Boy about said legacy, and Static actually being smart and acting like a nerd.  At other times, the characters act extremely strange, like Miss Martian NOT instantly looking to pet the mysterious cat, Beast Boy having forgotten how to be a leader (he actually did lead the Teen Titans around Infinite Crisis and during 52, as well as the Doom Patrol afterwards), and Wonder Girl acting like she’s forgotten the new sense of purpose she felt after Red Devil’s death.  The Wyld is an interesting concept, even if his motives seem rather clichéd.  And I’m not too happy seeing Beast Boy and Raven return to the team, since the team was now all the younger superheroes.  So, I’m reserving my final judgment on whether she’s right for the team or not for the next arc.  She’s got some stuff down, but others not so much.  Sean McKeever’s Ravager story is still boring, and he had to come up with dozens of silly reasons why an MI6 agent could beat her (adrenaline withdrawal, almost having frozen, “doesn’t know his moves”).  Plus, with the Blackest Night story, there isn’t much tension left in the story.  J.T. Krul’s Ravager and Deathstroke story is snoozy, and it completely ignores David Hine’s Deathstroke one-shot from last year.  I’m sure that’s setting up the next arc for the Ravager back-up, but I would have rather seen Henderson stretch her legs with the Titans more than some relatively useless Blackest Night story.  Joe Bennett’s art is still great and way too good for this title right now, though the second half of Henderson’s story gets degraded when Yildiray Cinar’s more boring and less detailed pencils come on the scene.  Same, of course, with the Ravager back-up, since it’s the same artist.  So, again, I don’t know.  Superboy and Kid Flash are coming back to the team soon, which I think will make things better.  But with Red Devil dead, Red Robin off by himself, and Beast Boy and Raven forcing themselves onto the team, I’m rather cautious about the future of this book.  I haven’t completely condemned it yet, but I’m cautious.

Plot: 7.1      Art: 8.8      Dialogue: 7.5      Overall: 7.2

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