Comic Book Review: Teen Titans #46

The Revolution has found this much hyped Teen Titans East story arc to be massively disappointing. If this is what we can expect from Beechen once he takes over this title at the end of this story arc then the Teen Titans may be getting the dreaded axe. Hopefully, Beechen and Johns can salvage this story arc with a dramatic and exciting ending in Teen Titans #46. Let’s do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Adam Beechen & Geoff Johns
Penciller: Al Barrionuevo
Inker: Bit

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with, the Titans locking horns with Deathstroke and the Titans East. Nightwing and Deathstroke begin sparring with each other. Deathstroke thinks how he has been playing all of the Titans for a while now. That soon Deathstroke’s purpose for all of this will be evident to everyone. That there is a reason behind all of his actions.

Deathstroke gets the upper hand on Nightwing, and we see Donna Troy, Jericho and Ravager all attacked Deathstroke. Deathstroke comments how Ravager was a mistake and that Jericho is his only true heir and is very valuable and important to Deathstroke.

We see Cyborg taking down Risk. We see Miss Martian taking down Inferno. We see Beast Boy and Duela combine to take down Enigma. We then see Raven transfer Eddy’s demonic power from Kid Crusader back into Eddy’s body. Eddy mumbles to himself how he can not let anyone else assume Neron’s curse.

We see Match attacking Robin and Wonder Girl. We see Bart Allen taking on Inertia. Bart takes out Inertia and then throws Inertia into Match, who had the upper hand on Wonder Girl. Match then regroups and attacks Robin, Wonder Girl and Bart. Robin calls Bart “Kid Flash” and tells Bart to make a distraction to get Match’s attention.

Bart comments that his name is now just Flash and for Robin to going easy on the orders. That just because Bart is here doesn’t mean he wants to be a Titan again. Wonder Girl comments how much Bart has changed and that she barely recognizes him.

Deathstroke continues to battle with Donna Troy, Jericho, Rose and Nightwing. The rest of the Titans unite and join the fight against Deathstroke telling Deathstroke they have defeated his team of Teen Titans East. Batgirl says that Deathstroke is going to leave in a body bag. Batgirl dives at Deathstroke. Deathstroke dodges Batgirl’s attack. Nightwing then tells Batgirl that he cannot let her kill Deathstroke. That Deathstroke has to face a court and a jury. Nightwing then punches Batgirl in the face and knocks her out.

Deathstroke starts to kick ass on the Titans. Deathstroke comments that he will keep coming at the Titans until he gets his kids. That he is Deathstroke the Terminator and he never loses. Robin comments that Deathstroke will have to go through the Titans in order to get Jericho and Rose. That Rose and Jericho are the Titans’ family now and not Deathstroke’s.

Deathstroke comments that the Titans will never be able to trust Rose and Jericho because they are his blood. Nightwing says that Deathstroke is wrong. That Jericho and rose have proven themselves to them over and over.

We then see Wonder Girl saving Rose from being fried by match’s heat vision. Rose is surprised that Wonder Girl would save her since she hates Rose’s guts. Wonder Girl comments that they are family now.

Deathstroke uses Match’s attack as a diversion and makes his escape to the Titans East Tower. Jericho then makes contact with Match in enters his body. Jericho is in control of Match so the fight is over.

Suddenly the entire Titans East Tower implodes and falls down. The Titans cannot find any sign of Deathstroke. Inertia is also missing as it is Duela and Batgirl. Bart says that Inertia is his responsibility and that he will handle have alone. Bart then races off. Robin tells Wonder Girl that she was right at the old days are gone forever. And that he just hopes that Bart isn’t.

Beast Boy comments that Deathstroke wrecked the Titans Island pretty badly and what are they doing to do with it. Donna responds that that is an easy decision. That they make the island theirs again.

We cut to Deathstroke meeting with Inertia. Deathstroke tells Inertia that he did a good job helping Deathstroke escape from the Titans. Deathstroke tells Inertia to forget about the Titans.

Deathstroke then walks off and thinks how he is a mercenary, a killer and a soldier but he is no father. And he knows for a fact that now the Titans will take good care of his children. So they will never know what, he has given them a final gift of love. The one thing he could never provide them with himself: a real family. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Teen Titans #46 was a massively anti-climactic ending to this over-hyped Titans East story arc. Having said that, I must follow The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity and look at the bright spots of Teen Titans #46.

Deathstroke certainly came across as a totally bad-assed tough guy. Beechen and Johns give us an entertaining Deathstroke. This guy has total ice running in his veins. I dig that he truly loves his children enough to know that he is a bad father and cannot provide a sense of family for them. It isn’t easy for a parent to acknowledge that they cannot provide for their children. And it isn’t easy for a parent to let their children go.

However, Slade is man enough to perform both of those difficult acts and give his children a better life. Slade is willing to not only lose his children, but also make them hate him in order to give them a true family. Slade may not think he is a father, but he does the right thing by his children and sacrifices his relationship with them in order to guarantee their well being. This gives Slade some depth and complexity that your typical bad-ass mercenary style character lacks.

I also have to give props to any issue in which I get to see my boy Nightwing punch out Batgirl. That was very satisfying. That alone was worth the price of admission.

The Bad: Teen Titans #46 was just a terribly disappointing and underwhelming ending to a train wreck of a story arc that was incredibly over-hyped. What concerns me the most is that what we got in this Titans East story arc is just a taste of what is to come with Beechen’s run on this title.

Beechen gives us some decidedly stiff and generic dialogue. There is no natural flow to this dialogue. No character has much of their own distinctive external voice. The dialogue reads very mechanically. As a consequence there is practically no chemistry at all between any of the characters.

And talking about the characters, wow, what happened to the excellent character development that Johns brought to this title? That came to a screeching halt. All the various Titans all have the same generic and vanilla personalities.

What impressed me so much with Johns’ work on the Titans was that he got me to like characters that I never liked before with well done character work. Each Titan was fully fleshed out and had their own personality. Beechen fails miserably in that area. None of the Titans have much of a unique personality.

Even the fighting was rather pedestrian. The fight scenes in this issue were an uninteresting mess. It was poorly plotted and choreographed.

And talk about a massively anti-climactic ending! I can’t believe all the hype and build up for this story arc was just Deathstroke making sure that the Titans accepted his kids as part of the Titans’ family. Are you kidding me? That is it? That is the big pay-off? That is incredibly lame.

And what is even more annoying about this ending is that not only is it amazingly disappointing and anti-climactic for the entire reason behind the Titans East was to make sure the Titans accepted Rose and Jericho as part of the family, but it was totally unnecessary.

Rose and Jericho were already a part of the Titans’ family before this story arc. Jericho has long been accepted as family by the Titans. I’ll admit that Rose has had a rocky start with the Titans, but she had been starting to work her way into the Titans family and would have gotten there anyway without Deathstroke’s machinations.

I could have cared less about the drama between Bart, Robin and Wonder Girl. The main reason is that I don’t even know why Bart is acting so pissy. What in the world happened between these characters? Maybe I missed something, but I can’t recall what Tim or Cassie did to Bart to engender such nasty treatment from Bart.

And Beechen’s version of Bart was rather annoying. Bart comes across as a winy brat. I am even more depressed that this is the new Flash. What a massive drop off in terms of quality of character from the mega stud Barry Allen, to stud Wally West to brat Bart Allen. At least I can hope for DC giving us a mini-series about Barry Allen as the Flash on one of the other Earths of our new Multiverse.

Barrionuevo’s artwork was average. The problem is that Barrionuevo struggles with his consistency. Some panels look great while others look rather unimpressive. Barrionuevo’s artwork can also get a bit stiff and static. The action scenes lack any sense of movement or motion. This artwork is definitely a step down from Tony Daniel’s sweet artwork.

Overall: Teen Titans #46 was an incredibly unsatisfactory ending to a rather unimpressive story arc. Adam Beechen takes over as writer of Teen Titans with the next issue. I am less than optimistic about how this title is going to do in his hands. So far, Beechen’s addition to the Teen Titans in this Titans East story arc has been a definite minus. I’m afraid that with Beechen and Barrionuevo as the new creative team that the Teen Titans is headed for a serious nose dive in terms of sales numbers.

I’m officially placing the Teen Titans on The Revolution’s probation list. Beechen has 3 issues to prove to me that this title shouldn’t fall victim to the dreaded axe.

2 Comments

  1. just out of curiosity, about how many titles are currently in the Revolution’s rotation each month?

  2. I think 5.5 is harsh for an overall rating, but I can see why it warrants it. For all of the hype this arc was getting before and during ‘Titans Around the World,’ to have it just flatline over the course of four or five issues is insulting.

    I don’t put all the blame on Beechen, however. I think Geoff has to share the credit for this lame duck, as well as his editor. Someone should have had common sense enough to let Johns finish his run his way, as opposed to helping train his replacement. I’m all for getting new talent up to speed on your title, but I think that’s something a quick miniseries or one-shot can do just as well. As a matter of fact, this whole arc reeked of a decompressed mini, which could’ve easily been told in one annual.

    Involving the older Titans like Nightwing and Donna might’ve been a cool touch, but, to me, only served to undermine the current roster. Was this what the writers were going for? Show the team as being too inexperienced to deal with Slade the first time they face him? Probably not, but that’s the gist I got.

    Testy, whiney-bitch Bart? Yeah, let’s just go ahead and get rid of that jackass idea as soon as possible. I know he’s under some pressure, but come on. We’ve all seen him cowboy up before.

    Deathstroke’s purposes are seen as insulting, mostly due to how long this yarn was. For this, they could’ve just thrown Mxyzptlk in there, and I probably would’ve griped less.

    I’m praying Dini can coax some good writing out of Adam, and get Beechen to step it up on Countdown. We’re going to have to see some major improvement as soon as possible.

    If we have to, we can always petition Mark Waid or Greg Rucka to give it a shot, but I’ll cross my fingers for Adam.

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