Comic Book Review: Teen Titans #34: One Year Later

Teen Titans #34 is the first “One Year Later” issue for this title. The Revolution expects that Geoff Johns is going to really shake things up on this title. Let’s see if we are right.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Tony Daniel
Inker: Art Thibert & Kevin Conrad

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: This issue starts with Cyborg coming back online. He had been offline and rebuilt for the past year. Cyborg “wakes” up after his year long “sleep” and stumbles through Titans Tower. In the kitchen he comes across Ravager and Kid Devil. Cyborg immediately attacks Ravager. Cyborg shows off his new weapons and upgrades he received while he was comatose for the past year.

Two more new Titans show up during the fight. Marvin and Wendy. Yup. From the Super Friends. They were the two that upgraded Cyborg. The fight ends when Robin shows up and tells Cyborg to relax that these are the members of the new Titans.

Robin is sporting a sweet new costume that looks eerily similar to Red Robin’s costume from Kingdom Come minus the cowl. Robin tells Cyborg that Starfire has been missing since Infinite Crisis. Speedy is off on some island with Connor Hawke. Kid Flash is retired. Raven quit after she broke up with Beast Boy. Beast Boy left the Titans and joined the Doom Patrol. And, last but not least, Superboy died saving the universe. Cyborg then asks about Wonder Girl which leads us to the next scene….

Where we see Gemini from the Brotherhood of Evil stealing some map from S.T.A.R. Labs. Wonder Girl suddenly appears aaaaand it’s a brawl! Wonder Girl kicks Gemini’s butt right as the Titans show up on the scene. Wonder Girl gives Cyborg a huge hug. Robin asks Wonder Girl to please re-join the team. Ravager tells Robin that Wonder Girl has already said no three times so he shouldn’t beg her. Ravager points her sword in Wonder Girl’s face and that gets Ravager a Wonder-sized smack.

Robin says he needs Wonder Girl. Wonder Girl angrily asks Robin where was he when she needed him after Superboy died. Evidently, Robin spent the past year with Batman traveling the world training to become better. During the drama, Gemini managed to escape. Wonder Girl leaves to go find Gemini.

We go back to Titans Tower where Cyborg is still having a hard time dealing with all the changes that happened while he was in a coma for the past year. Robin tells Cyborg that the past year has changed everyone. Cyborg asks if Robin is all right. Robin says yes, though his face says differently.

We then cut to Robin entering a mini Bat Cave under Titans Tower. There Robin’s super computer tells Robin that attempt 96 to clone Superboy failed. Robin instructs the computer to initiate the next attempt. End of issue.

The Good: Teen Titans #34 kicked all kinds of ass!! This is exactly what I expected from all of these “One Year Later” issues. Johns definitely did not disappoint with this issue.

Johns crafts a great story. The reader and Cyborg are in the same boat. We don’t know what has happened the past year. We experience everything at the same time. I like that Johns just blew up the Titans completely. I don’t think that this is going to be the permanent team roster, or at least I hope not! The Titans roster is Ravager, Kid Devil, Cyborg and Robin. Pretty slim. I expect to see some of the regular team members to return within the year. I hope that we see Ravager and Kid Devil leave. They are ok in the short term, but they would suck as long term Titans.

Johns does a great job showing how horrible the past year has been. Starfire is missing, Kid Flash retired, Wonder Girl pissed and feeling betrayed, Raven gone, Beast Boy back with the Doom Patrol. And Superboy dead. Wow, didn’t see that one coming. But, it is all so very well done. It makes sense that after such a traumatic year that things would just implode.

I like the death of Superboy. It allows other characters to develop new facets of their personalities because of his death. Robin and Wonder Girl have both obviously changed because of it. Also, you know he isn’t permanently dead. Superboy will return at some point.

Now, let’s talk about the other new Titans. Wendy and Marvin. Yup, those two characters from the Super Friends. This is sure to get a huge reaction. And, I’m sure plenty of it will be negative. The Revolution will go on record as liking it. These are comics and with everything so grim, a little humor can go a long way. If Alex Ross can bring back the Wonder Twins, then why can’t Johns bring back Wendy and Marvin? I found it funny and the Revolution gives it a thumbs up.

The Revolution also loves what Johns is doing with Robin. Tim has so obviously been affected by the past year. He looks totally different. First, the costume kicks ass. It is way cooler than his other brightly colored Robin outfit. Tim looks more serious, more haunted and more reserved. In short, Robin is starting to look like the Batman. Robin spoke and acted like the Batman through out this issue. Even the end, with him going to his own little “Robin Cave” conducting a secret test to bring back Superboy. Keeping secrets from his closest “friends.” Shutting out everyone and not allowing any emotion or weakness. Tim is much more like the Batman than Dick Grayson. This new Robin is very interesting.

The art was great. Daniel’s art looks great. Conrad and Thibert go a very good job inking. The overall look of the Titans is excellent. And, I love Daniel’s Robin. He looks so eerily calm. Just fantastic. The art does a great job conveying all of the emotion of the various characters in this story.

The Bad: The Revolution has absolutely nothing to complain about. Seriously, it happens every once in a while. Teen Titans #34 is a kick ass issue. Well, we could complain about Ravager being on the team. The Revolution has never found her to be even remotely interesting. We could also complain about the lame generic character, Kid Devil. However, the Revolution has a feeling that those two characters aren’t going to be Titans for very long.