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Batman: The Dark Knight is not the only book that takes a collapse in its quality this month. Teen Titans falls below the standards set by it in previous issues.
The issue begins with Red Robin trapped in some sort of bubble. Omen has trapped him in there, and Wonder Girl is trying desperately to rescue him. However, Bunker is trying to knock some sense into her; reminding her he cannot be rescued that way. They get into a little tussle, and Skitter is not too happy about that. In the meantime, Kiran and Kid Flash contemplate how they will ever be free. They also reflect on their lives in the meantime. However, Wonder Girl brings them back to focusing on the present matter with Tim. Through the bubble, Omen can apparently learn Tim’s secrets, and she plays with him. However, he is too smart for her, and is not toiled by her games; eventually being released. Next, Wonder Girl is her next choice. Some secrets about her armor are revealed, and how she ended up with it is hinted at. Following that, Red Robin has apparently been taken to have a confrontation with Harvest. Tim has some sort of armor placed around his normal suit. Skitter is also taken captive by Omen, and she is separated from her animal-like form. That also leaves a lot to be explored as her normal self threatens earth will be doomed if they are not placed back together. Bunker feels guilty for what is happening and Kiran reminds him it is nothing he can do. The story takes a random turn back to New York with Agent Kurt Lance talking with Amanda Waller about the mystery behind Wonder Girl and his past working with her. The issue then finds Cassie with the same armor in the same room. Tim assures her to relax. Kiran then talks to Bunker, and apologizes for leading the team here stating she cannot control having Harvest in her head as she did earlier on. Bunker quite understands her situation. Kid Flash is next tested by Omen. Unfortunately, his speed in something she cannot control, and he breaks out. He runs out, takes Kiran and Bunker, and goes. However, the two are both shot, and Bart wakes up with the same suit on. Wonder Girl brings him up to speed. Red Robin is on his way to fight Omen. He starts to succeed, and suddenly, ends up back where he was with Harvest. Harvest then says to unleash his Ravagers. When the team wakes up, there are stuck, and they find themselves in the control of the Leash.
This issue was pretty average, and could have been a lot better. Scott Lobdell was telling a great story, and I was happy reading all the previous issues of Teen Titans. However, in its solicitation, this issue promised more. I cannot help wondering whether this “The Culling” stuff not only changed Lobdell’s original plans but also was designated by editorial after the solicits were released. Unfortunately, that damaged Lobdell’s original plans with this arc as the solicit does not completely match what was written here. The issue does not match up with the ending of the previous issue, and also is missing Superboy. I was looking forward to some more hinting at something more than friendship between Red Robin and Wonder Girl as she was supposed to be missing but Lobdell reduced that to merely here being pissed off at Red Robin’s entrapment as a result of Omen. Beyond petty complaints, the writing fares alright. The art is another story. Absent are the crisp pencils of Brett Booth and in come the cartoony and jaded pencils of IG Guara. As I got into the issue, I did not mind it as much. However, looking back, it is quite a contrast from Booth’s when I first laid eyes on the differences between Booth’s cover and the sequential art inside. I am guessing Booth was probably preparing for the aforementioned event, and the plans Lobdell/Booth had were pushed back because DC wanted to “world build.” While that is all nice and fine, the plans of the writer/artist team should come first. They are what build the comic for the most part; not the company that publishes it…
This great image of Big Barda is by Dan McDaid of Jersey Gods fame. Find more of his stunning art at his blogspot.