Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Teen Titans #66 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Sean McKeever
Artist: Eddy Barrows
Inkers: Ruy Jose and Julio Ferriera
Colorist: Rod Reis

Story - The New Deal: Choices

After reading this latest issue of Teen Titans I came to a realization about all team books DC has been publishing for the last few years. And that is that outside of Geoff Johns latest JSA story all of the team books lack a sense of direction. In Justice League of America, which is suppose to be one of DC's flagship titles along with Action Comics and Batman, it has been thrown into having to tie-in to one event to another and hasn't had its own stand alone stories. Birds of Prey and Batman and the Outsiders continue to be plagued with creative turnover that their isn't a sense that the stories will mean anything to these characters development. Checkmate, while underrated, never had a cast of characters that seemed to balance one another out. Then DC has teams like the Doom Patrol and Shadowpack were they seem to have no idea what to do with those teams so they are only mentioned in other books but never seen.

Finally you have what is going on in both Titan books were the storytelling and dialogue does not fit or feel natural. Though Titans are suffering much worse since Winnick continues to give such a bad interpretation of the one of the best teams in comics that I drop the title after its first story arc.

While not as bad as what Winnick is doing in Titans, McKeever writing hasn't been nothing but average and at times feels more like I am reading a fanfiction instead of a comic. It is nothing against McKeever since I did enjoy his intial arc on Teen Titans "Titans of Tomorrow....Today," and also his work on the Mary Jane series (I'll admit it that book was a guilty pleasure when it came out) and his Jean Grey origin one-shot, but since then McKeever just doesn't seem to be the right fit for this title. I think his talents fit much better if he wrote a one of DC many solo books instead of a team book like Teen Titans were he has to deal with six or seven stars instead of a single one.

Now with this issue I think Blue Beetle summed it up best with how I am starting to feel about this title when he said "This really, really, really, really needs to stop happening." Since the 50th issue of this series we have had Cyborg, Raven, Jericho, Supergirl, Miss Martian, and Ravager have all left the team. Now you can add Robin to that list of Titans that have left the team. It is understandable that Robin would leave the team since he will be heavely involved with Battle for the Cowl he can't be a Titan right now but him leaving the team has left a huge gap in the team that has been only been getting bigger since Ravager left the team.

The biggest problem I have with this move is that with Robin now gone I have no interest in any of the members of the Titans or the new recruits. It is similar to how Dodgers are without Manny Ramirez. Right now while the Dodgers have some great young talent they aren't a team that is as relevant, especially outside baseball circles, when they had Manny Ramirez on the team (and I am a Dodger fan) since there isn't any personalities on the team that is nowhere as polarizing as Manny's is. And for the Teen Titans now that they don't have Robin, and Ravager (yes I am still upset about her leaving the team), this book has lost its only notible character and is now a team that is filled with nothing but C- and D-list characters that will not attract new readers or keep current ones.

I just hope that once the Terror Titans mini-series is over Ravager rejoins the team since she was/is my teen hero. I also suspect that once Battle for the Cowl is over Tim will rejoin the team as Red Robin similar to how Dick rejoined the team as Nightwing when he took a leave from the team back in the Wolfman/Perez era of the Titans.

Though I will admit that I did enjoy the short scenes with Jamie and Traci 13. It would be interesting to see how Jamie reacts if Traci joins the team.

One of the only other bright spots to this book is the artwork by Eddy Barrows. His artwork has continued to improve with each issue he draws. While his art is still inconsistent at times, especially in the scenes were Tim is not in his Robin costume, Barrow's did a good job on this title.

Issue Rating
Story: 4.2/10 - I hope that once this recruiting arc is over McKeever can finally give this title a sense of direction that it has been lacking since he came on to this title.
Art: 7.7/10 - Barrows art has been improving with each issue, though there are still glaring inconsistencies with his art that I am sure he will fix in the future.
Overall: 5.95/10 -With Robin gone this title has lost its last character that was interesting and it doesn't help that all the teen heroes that could have been an interesting addition to the team turned them down.