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Why Can’t They Ever Get a Break?

February 22, 2010

     No team book, and perhaps no book in general, has suffered as much since One Year Later as Teen Titans.  After a few months of creator shuffling and Blackest Night tie-ins, the team finally has a consistent writer in Felicia D. Henderson.  And for her second arc, she has Static returning home to Dakota City.  Wonder Girl visits Cyborg to find out why he asked Beast Boy to rejoin the Teen Titans.  Static goes back to Dakota City to see his family and find out about a strange virus that everyone seems to be catching there.  His sister, Sharon Hawkins, isn’t too happy to see him, what with the being kidnapped and not calling thing, but his parents are just relieved he’s okay.  The rest of the team ultimately decides to go help him, and when Wonder Girl returns, she reaffirms her duty as team leader and agrees to go to Dakota.  Static starts helping out around the city and bumps into his old pal Frieda Goren.  However, his girlfriend, Madison, has moved on since he left.  He tracks down the money trail behind the only company that has the vaccine for the virus to a lab making illegal drugs, thinking that they’re also making the virus.  When he gets there, however, he bumps into a member of the Blood Syndicate, Holocaust, who seems to be behind it.  Then, in the Ravager backup, Ravager gets subjected to some drugs to turn her into Will Roades’ personal assassin.  Although she resists, it takes her weeks to do so, and by that time, the town is abandoned, and Will is long gone.

     So, this book had some good and some bad things.  For one, it has some more honest character moments, especially with Static and his family and friends back in Dakota City.  It’s nice to get a feel for the character, and I’m glad to see that Henderson is beginning to get the rest of the team too.  I actually liked the exercising scene, personally.  Plus, the story is interesting, and it allows for her to deal with the Milestone Comics characters that haven’t all been incorporated into the DCU yet.  I’m also glad that she seems to finally be letting Wonder Girl grow up and get tough.  Oh, and FYI, Beast Boy can turn into mythical animals.  He has multiple times before.  So there’s no reason to have a conniption just because of that.  However, the book is plagued by awkward pacing, like Static asking for people to come with him, then insisting on leaving without getting an answer.  Plus, why didn’t Static come and visit his house?  Just emails?  That’s a tad strange and not entirely natural.  And why aren’t his parents more happy and cautious now that he’s back?  All important questions.  I can’t help but wonder if a more capable writer would have dealt with these issues automatically.  Joe Bennett’s art is still superb, at the very least.  And Sean McKeever and Ardian Syaf’s Ravager backup is still snoozy.  What was the point of that whole story anyway?  It doesn’t really advance Ravager as a character, nor does it introduce anyone new worthwhile.  I doubt anyone will remember who Will Roades is in a year or two.  So obviously, Henderson has some stuff to learn.  But I think she’s making an honest effort that may bear fruit.  Let’s hope her editor picks up on some of this stuff next time.  And the Ravager backup will be ending very soon anyway, so that doesn’t even really matter.

Plot: 7.5      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 8.3      Overall: 7.7

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