Comic Book Review: Teen Titans #40

The Revolution absolutely loves the Teen Titans. Johns and Daniels are an incredible creative team and they are consistently turning out an quality read each and every month. There is no doubt that Teen Titans #40 is going to be a great read. Let’s hit the review.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciler: Tony Daniel
Inkers: Jonathon Clapion & Kevin Conrad

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue begins with recounting past Titans traitors such as Terra and Jericho. We then see Bombshell accusing Ravager as being the latest Titan traitor. Bombshell says that Ravager is a traitor just like her brother Jericho. Wonder Girl isn’t too sure that Bombshell is correct on her accusation. Robin instructs Ravager to take the T-Jet and head back to Titans Tower. Ravager tells the Titans to don’t expect to see her at the Tower when they get back. And with that, Ravager takes off.

We then cut to the rest of the Titans flying with Bombshell in her plane with her squadron of Quantum soldiers flying their jets in formation behind her. The Quantum Soldiers are specially trained troops designed to deal with superhuman enemies. They follow Bombshell’s command. Bombshell asks Robin if he has any leads on Raven’s current whereabouts. Robin is looking at Raven’s journal and answers that Raven has been researching the rituals of Brother Blood. Robin says that he thinks Raven is in Phoenix.

We shift to Raven clutching the “I-L” volume of the encyclopedia. Raven says that the planets are aligned. That it is time to make the Titans a family again.

We cut to Titans Tower, where Rose is busy packing all of her stuff. Wendy and Marvin tell Rose that she can’t leave now. The twins tell Rose that they found that one of the old encyclopedias from the Mad Mod days was missing. They looked through the trash in the library and discovered that someone cut into the pages of the book. That the shape cut out of the books is the perfect size for a computer disk. Rose suddenly realizes what was placed inside of the book.

We zip back to the Titans in Bombshell’s plane. Bombshell tells the Titans that there was another Titan that she and Raven suspected to be the traitor. And if the traitor isn’t Ravager then it must be Miss Martian. Suddenly, we see Miss Martian fly toward their jet. Miss Martian enters the jet and tells them that she broke the rules. That she read minds and now she knows. Bombshell immediately attacks Miss Martian claiming that Miss Martian is more than she looks. Miss Martian then assumes her natural form of a white Martian. Miss Martian and Bombshell grapple and blow a hole in the side of the jet. The jet begins to crash to the ground. Wonder Girl flies out and grabs the nose of the jet and safely lands the plane. Robin tells Wonder Girl that he didn’t know she was that strong. Wonder Girl replies that she didn’t know either.

At this point, Robin and Cyborg help Bombshell battle Miss Martian while Wonder Girl and Kid Devil enter the nearby church where they have tracked down Raven. We see Wonder Girl and Kid Devil walk deep into the basement of the church and they find Raven kneeled before a fiery pit of blood. Raven mistakes Kid Devil for an enemy since he looks like her father, Trigon, and she attacks him. Wonder Girl tells Raven that Kid Devil is a Titan and is a good guy. Wonder Girl tells Raven that the others are battling the traitor, Miss Martian. Raven tells Wonder Girl that Miss Martian is not the traitor.

Suddenly, Bombshell enters the scene and blasts Wonder Girl. Bombshell tells Raven that she was wondering if she would ever catch up with Raven after Raven stole back the book from Bombshell’s headquarters. Bombshell says that luckily the Titans led her right to Raven. Bombshell continues that her Quantum soldiers and her have already taken down Robin, Cyborg and Miss Martian. Bombshell then tells Raven to give her back the book.

Out of nowhere, Ravager comes flying in and kicks Bombshell in the face. Raven quickly takes a computer disk out of the encyclopedia and throws it into the fiery put of blood. Raven looks at Ravager and tells her that it took months to unlock Brother Blood’s flesh ritual, but Raven thinks that she has done it. Jericho is back! We see Jericho walking out of the fiery pit of blood. (Let me do my best Jim Ross. Oh mah gawd! He’s back! He’s back! For the love of gawd, he’s back! I cahn’t believe mah own two eyes! He’s back!) End of issue.

The Good: Damn, this was one kick-ass read! Johns really crushed one out of the park with Teen Titans #40. I absolutely loved this issue. The story was perfectly paced and the smooth transitions between the scenes gave this issue a nice flow. Johns served up his usual well crafted dialogue. Teen Titans #40 boasted a good blend of action and drama.

Let’s get right to the big bomb at the end of this issue. Jericho is back! I’m psyched. I always like Jericho and his mighty muttonchops. I’m glad that Johns has brought him back to life. I had no clue what in the world was so valuable in that book until we learned that someone had stored a computer disk in it. When Rose said she knew what it was then I had a thought that it might be the disk with Jericho’s data. And when we learned that Raven had been trying to perfect Brother Blood’s flesh ritual then I knew we were in for an exciting ending.

Johns did a wonderful job crafting this story arc. This story was well designed and plotted and it fell together perfectly. Johns threw in several twists and turns along the way with regard to who the real traitor was in order to keep the readers on their toes. I am thrilled that Ravager was not the traitor for two reasons.

One, because it was simply the too obvious choice. Slade was the mentor to Tara, the first Titan traitor. Slade’s son and Ravager’s brother was the second Titan traitor. It would have been too obvious and unoriginal to have Ravager be the third Titan traitor just because she is Slade’s daughter and Jericho’s sister. Second, I really dig Ravager’s character and have grown to like her on this title. She is a nice change of pace and is a wildcard that interjects some drama and unpredictability into the Titans.

I like the choice of Bombshell as the traitor. I have never liked her character anyway, so I don’t mind her being cast in the role of the villain in this story.

I cannot wait to see where Johns goes with this storyline. I want to know what Raven is thinking by brining Jericho back to life. I want to know how in the world this is supposed to make the Titans a family again. There is no doubt that Jericho’s rebirth is going to make next issue a very interesting one indeed.

I was glad to see a bit more of Marvin and Wendy. It still trips me out to see these Superfriends characters in the pages of the Teen Titans. I’m impressed that Johns has gotten me to like all the different Titans. It is a rarity that a writer can get me to like every character in a team title. But, Johns has done it. And a good portion of Johns’ success is due to his ability to create excellent chemistry between the various Titans. Each Titan has their own personality and purpose on this title and they all interact very well with each other. Whether it is unrequited love from Kid Devil to Ravager, deep friendship between Robin and Wonder Girl or open hostilities between Wonder Girl and Ravager, all of these interactions are well developed and entertaining.

Johns has really impressed me with his writing on this title ever since the One Year Later storyline began. Johns has turned up the intensity on the Titans and is like a mad scientist delivering concocting some pretty wild plotlines that is keeping the reader shocked and wondering what in the world is going to happen next. Johns has made the Teen Titans one of DC’s most entertaining titles currently on the market.

Tony Daniels artwork is simply fantastic. I love his style. I really dig his panel layouts. I also like his use of black between panels on some pages and the use of white between panels on others to give some variety. Also, Daniel excels at drawing very expressive faces. Daniel is able to convey plenty of emotion through his characters. On top of that, Daniel actually gives his characters different facials structures giving each Titan a more unique look. And, of course, Daniel draws the best looking Robin. Period.

The Bad: None at all.

Overall: Teen Titans #40 was an excellent issue. Johns and Daniel are an impressive team and they are continually putting out one of DC’s better titles each and every month. I cannot recommend Teen Titans enough. This title is definitely worth giving a chance.