Comic Book Review: Teen Titans #35: One Year Later

Teen Titans has been one of the better “One Year Later” titles that DC is cranking out. Geoff Johns has really embraced the “One Year Later” gimmick and ran with it. I fully expect Teen Titans #35 to keep the ball rolling. It is early in the a.m. and I have already had 2 mugs of Café Bustelo and am ready to go.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Tony Daniel
Inker: Kevin Conrad

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: The issue starts with Beast Boy getting Cyborg’s message to call him. Gar is shocked that Vic is no longer in a coma.

We then shift to Titans Tower where another of Robin’s cloning attempts fails. A frustrated Robin slumps back to his room and flops on his bed only to be jumped by a very randy Ravager. She is buck nekkid and ready for action. (Sheesh, Rose really likes those Bat-boys. First Dick Grayson and now Tim Drake.) Robin pushes Ravager off him and handcuffs her to restrain her. (uh-oh.) We then see an unidentified intruder trying to access files in the Titan’s file room. The security alarm goes off. Kid Devil then busts into Robin’s room to get him and sees Robin hunched over Ravager in handcuffs on his bed. Kid Devil’s response is “Hot damn.” (Hilarious scene!) Robin protests that it isn’t what it looks like. Ravager says yes it is. Kid Devil ain’t buying what Robin is selling. Kid Devil and Robin are first to get to the intruder and we see it is Wonder Girl. Then Ravager suddenly appears and attacks Wonder Girl and we have a Caaaaaat Fiiiiight!! Cyborg then arrives and keeps his pimp hand strong by separating the two ladies. Cyborg then asks Ravager and Kid Devil to leave so that the “Titans” can talk.

We then shift to Kid Devil on the phone talking to Blue Devil. Ravager is also there sitting on Kid Devil’s bed. Kid Devil tells him that he is watching the fire thing and that the new powers are fine. He then hangs up the phone. Kid Devil tells Ravager that Blue Devil checks up on his four times a day. He doesn’t want Kid Devil in trouble after what happened with Kid Devil and Zatara. (Hmmm, I wonder what that was.) Ravager then pulls Kid Devil close to her and lights her cigarette off his fire breath. Kid Devil asks Ravager if Wonder Girl will re-join the team. Ravager hopes not since that would mean someone would get kicked off the team and that would be her. She is afraid to be out on her own since Deathstroke is out there and would attack her. We then learn that Nightwing told Robin that Ravager had to be on the Titans. Ravager says that no one wants her on the team. Kid Devil says he does. Ravager calls him a freak.

We cut back to Wondergirl, Cyborg and Robin in the file room. Wonder Girl tells them that the Brotherhood of Evil has been raiding genetic research facilities across the country stealing anything they can on cloning. Wonder Girl then breaks down about Superboy’s death. Robin becomes depressed as well. Suddenly, a police report hits the Titans Tower that the Brotherhood is at an abandoned cloning lab in New York.

We cut to that location where the Brotherhood are tearing up the joint. Cue a two page splash shot of the Titans arriving on the scene. And it is a braaaaawwl!! During the fight Plasmus grabs Kid Devil and burns through his chest and rips him open. Warp then teleports the Brotherhood out of there. Ravager runs to Kid Devil’s side. He whispers into her ear “The phone c-calls…the c-c-calls…” The paramedics arrive and can’t do anything to help Kid Devil due to his bizarre biology. Fortunately, bizarre is the Doom Patrol’s specialty and with that we get a one page splash shot of the Doom Patrol on the scene and telling the paramedics that they can handle the situation. End of issue.

The Good: This was a great issue. Johns is doing an excellent job with this title. I loved the scene with Robin and Ravager where he has her handcuffed in his bed. The exchange between Robin, Rose and Kid Devil when Kid Devil busts in the room is classic. Johns show a good touch for humor in order to lighten up a title that between Superboy’s death and the fractioning of the Titans has a lot of dark storylines.

I liked the fight scene between Wonder Girl and Ravager. The Titans have been so close and family like in the recent past that it is nice to have some plain old nasty dislike between members.

I thought Vic telling Ravager and Kid Devil to leave so the “Titans” can talks was perfect. It sets up the tension between the established Titans and the two new members. The scene with Ravager and Kid Devil sitting on his bed talking about how they aren’t accepted as real Titans. And Ravager’s fear that if Wonder Girl joins the team again then she will be kicked off since nobody likes her. We also find out that Nightwing is the one who orchestrated getting Ravager on the Titans in order to protect her from Deathstroke. I will tell you that the scene in Robin’s bedroom and the scene with Kid Devil and Ravager in his room really developed both Kid Devil and Ravager’s characters. Johns did a great job fleshing out these two characters with those scenes. Initially, I was less than thrilled with the addition of Kid Devil and Ravager to the Titans. Due to Johns’ strong writing on this issue I have pulled a complete 180. I really like both of these characters. I am now quite happy that Ravager and Kid Devil are on the team and I think they have a lot to offer this title. I hope Johns keeps them on the Titans’ roster. This is a great example of how a talented writer can turn a reader on to characters that the reader initially does not like. Sorry, Waid, you ain’t doing that with me when it comes to Supergirl on the Legion! I’ll hate that plastic Barbie doll forever. Oh man, look at that. I managed to work in a shot on Supergirl during a Titans’ review.

I thought Johns wrote a very touching scene where Wonder Girl breaks down about Superboy’s death. Robin still looks devastated over Connor’s death. You can tell that this has had a vast impact on his character. Johns is handling Connor’s death perfectly. I have always hated how characters get over the death of a teammate in a couple of issues and that dead character is never mentioned again.

The fight scene with the Brotherhood was well done. And I was not expecting to see Kid Devil at the brink of death after his fight with Plasmus. And, of course, it is great to see the Doom Patrol make their dramatic appearance at the end of the issue. I have always liked the Doom Patrol. It will be interesting to see if Bumblebee and Beast Boy stay with the Doom Patrol or come back to the Titans.

I think this storyline with the Brotherhood raiding and stealing cloning technology with the hopes of creating a clone body for the Brain is rather interesting. Especially since Robin is actively trying to clone Superboy. This storyline has lots of potential and I’m interested to see where Johns goes with this.

Johns did a great job writing this issue. As always, Johns’ dialogue is strong and well done. Johns has an excellent feel for all of the characters and writes them perfectly. Plus, Johns managed to get me to really like Ravager and Kid Devil. Well done. Johns’ pace is perfect and each issue is just as strong as the last one.

Daniel and Conrad’s artwork is great. I love how they draw all the characters. Their fight scenes are well done. Plus, Daniel manages to draw plenty of emotion into all of the character’s faces. We really feel their pain, their sorrow, their anger and in the case of Kid Devil walking in on Robin and Ravager, their surprise. The art makes the Titans a fun comic to read. Plus, Daniel draws one smoking hot Wonder Girl!

It is interesting to note that Wonder Girl’s costume designed has been changed to mimic Superboy’s jeans and t-shirt style costume. Nice touch.

The Bad: Absolutely no complaints at all with Teen Titans #35. The Titans is definitely one of the best of all the “One Year Later” storylines. This title is red hot and I would recommend it to anyone.