Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Teen Titans #73 Review

Just as a quick plug, if you haven't already be sure to read and comment on my monster of a review for Amazing Spider-Man #600 now posted at Rokk's Comic Book Revolution.

Creative Team
Writer: Bryan Q. Miller (main story) and Sean McKeever (Ravager back-up)
Artist: Joe Bennett (main story) and Yildiray Cinar (Ravager back-up)
Inker: Jack Jadson (main story) and Julio Ferreira (Ravager back-up)
Colorist: Rod Reis (both main and Ravager back-up)

Story – Child's Play Part 2: Upstairs, Downstairs…

After going through an endless amount of turnover with the team it is finally looking like Teen Titans is getting back on track. Bryan Q. Miller has really done a great job with these two issues bringing back this title to the prominence it once had. Though two issues isn't enough to ensure that this title will continue to be a quality read it is a good start.

While Teen Titans #73 didn't have any action Miller was able to make up for it by being able to do plenty of character work for the new team of Teen Titans. While I still do not like Bombshell, as I still find her to be a second rate Ravager, I like the new dynamic that Miller has given the new team. Miller gives each character a distinct voice which is usually the thing most writers of team books have.

Even though the new team of Titans has yet to go on a mission together yet it was fun seeing how Static, Blue Beetle, Eddie, Aquagirl, and Miss Martian act with one another without their leader, Wonder Girl, around. Unlike the previous dozen issues this new team actually acts not like just another team but a group of friends. And when it comes to Teen Titans that is how the team should act.

It was especially fun seeing how without Wonder Girl that everyone on the team turned to Blue Beetle to be the leader even though he has not shown to be a leader yet. It was funny seeing his reaction to everyone turning to him to lead and his nervousness to do so and then having Aquagirl stand up and put everyone in place. In just a few short issues I gotta say Aquagirl is probably my favorite member on the team right now.

The addition of Traci 13 into this story arc is a good use of a guest star in this story arc. In the last issue we saw that Aquagirl and Traci 13 had some animosity between the two, mostly from Aquagirl's part, because of Aquagirl showing attraction to Blue Beetle. And it is was cool seeing the two girls working together in this issue in order to save Wonder Girl.

Also I liked how Miller developed the latest version of the Fearsome Five. Miller does a good job making the Fearsome Five into a viable threat for the Teen Titans to face and makes it almost even as both teams have plenty of heavy hitters on each side. And the addition of the Calculator telling the Fearsome Five what to do makes the fight between the two teams more unpredictable.

Now I will say there were a couple weaknesses with this issue. The first being the Calculator's involvement in this story. The last time we saw him he was being taken away by the authorities in Oracle: The Cure mini-series. It would have been nice to see how he escaped just so that we have some continuity with what has recently happened to the character.

The other problem I had with this issue was with the Ravager back-up story we got in this issue. Back during Sean McKeever's run on Teen Titans the one of thing that he was able to do right with this title was how he handled Rose's character. Which is it is surprising that he is writing such an underwhelming story with the Rose back-up story. There really isn't much to the Rose story in this issue as the story involving Rose feels one-dimensional. What would be best for McKeever's back-up story is if he adds one of the current or former teammates of Rose from the Teen Titans to her story as she is a much better character when she is able to bounce of another character with her dialogue.

Issue Rating
Story: 7.8/10 – Millar does an excellent job building the team dynamic for the new group of Teen Titans and the story with the Fearsome Five return and Calculator's revenge was well done in this issue. Though I wish I could say the same thing for McKeever's story but sadly his story was the only real disappointment in the issue.
Art: 8/10 – Joe Bennett's artwork for the main story and Yildiray Cinar provide plenty of good artwork throughout the issue for both stories.
Overall: 7.9/10 – The problems with the back-up story aside, Teen Titans #73 was another solid issue. Millar and Bennett are doing a great job with the main story in this title. And I can't wait to see how the battle with the Fearsome Five ends up in the next issue, which is something I have not said about Teen Titans in a while.