Doing a commentary on this Annual now that the Teen Titans featuring Scott Lobdell has been cancelled reminds me of one of my favorite lines by Norm McDonald: "What's the point of beating a dead horse aside from the pure pleasure of it?"
And speaking of crap, let's read the Teen Titans!
The issue begins promisingly enough!
Red Robin is then approached by a shadowy stranger that says, "This was all planned, so buck up, buttercup!" That must mean that the shadowy figure is Harvest! And Harvest is here to give Tim Drake the Eternal Kiss! That way, as a vampire, he can grow up to become Harvest so that he can go back in time to make sure that he bites Time Drake to make sure that Harvest can go back in time to bite Tim Drake!
Of course the reader doesn't get to see the face of the person Red Robin is ready to beat the shit out of. Because that's how comic books work, especially when you're too lazy to write your own stories. You just take the usual tropes, write some generic teen angst dialogue, and then run off to fuck a stray dog in the face.
Sometimes I worry that I might cross a line in the activities I imply Lobdell partakes. But then I realize all that I've ever really said, in many various and imaginative ways, is that Scott Lobdell sucks at writing. And the only way he can prove I'm lying is to write something decent. Which he can't do. So I'm lawsuit proof!
Teen Titans #30 ended with the Next Blurb asking readers to pick up the Annual to see who survived the yacht blowing up. As if that was going to be a major part of this annual. But long time readers of Lobdell knew that he'd never continue the story from there nor would he ever tell any more of that part of the tale! He never remembers anything he writes. So he just has Tim Drake watching the yacht sink the next day and thinking, "I'm just glad no one died in the explosion." Don't worry, Timmy. Nobody was fucking worried for one second. Guess what nobody is worried about now?! Nobody is worried that the team is going to die in eight hours.
When you use the same trick over and over, it stops losing its power. Every Lobdell story either involves a threat to the Omniverse which is always overcome, or it involves the future deaths of heroes (or the Omniverse!) which the heroes learn about somehow, so they must avert the future disaster. I'm fairly certain those are his only two stories. He may have others but they probably sucked so badly that I forgot all about them.
This is Raven totally making sense. I want to kill them all as well. Although I actually have motivation for my feelings. "Habbits." Ha ha. Wait. Was that a joke or a typo? So hard to tell when Lobdell often has characters say things that only make sense if somebody were reading their dialogue and the dialogue's punctuation!
Red Robin has called an emergency meeting at a really stark and plain restaurant because Harvest is back and he's started another colony in Africa! Being that this is a Scott Lobdell story and he has a history of not knowing what the fuck he's doing, I'm not even going to try to figure out how this plan ties in with Harvest's plans in Superboy. I just don't have the patience to spend much brain power on this comic book.
Remember last issue when Skitters mentioned she was stuck in Skitters form? Yeah, the artists don't either.
It's now Professor Harvest's School for Gifted Youngsters.
The Titans discover that nobody was permanently killed in the Culling. They were all resurrected and enrolled in Colony College. And none of them were bitter or wanted their freedom or were pissed at how they were manipulated and tortured and killed! Because, fuck it, they're getting a free education now!
Things continue to get more and more familiar and DC's lawyers continue to get more and more nervous.
Harvest tells Red Robin that his ultimate goal was to help and maybe he went about it a little wrongheaded that first time. But since he's brought everybody back to life and taken away their powers, no harm, right? Time to party and learn Latin, dudes! Now it's an intellectual Culling! Beast Boy is lucky he's missing out on this one! Total washout, that one.
But then Red Robin and the team explore a bit and then a few pairs of giant green hands grab them all and then Red Robin gives everybody up for dead and is ready to record a message to warn the rest of the world that Professor Harvest's School for Gifted Youngsters is a bullshit front for bullshit and other shit.
That's when Harvest enters the room so that he can have a hearty philosophical brawl with Red Robin.
I suppose Harvest planned every word!
But wait! Scott Lobdell isn't yet done jerking off all over Marvel's trademarks! After the Teen Titans pat themselves on the back for defeating Harvest by leaving him in that explosion (seriously. He was right there. One of them could have helped him out as they fled), Superboy takes over the narration of the comic book! But he's no longer Superboy since he died back in that stupid Back to Krypton story arc. Now, he's a herald of OmniGalactusWatcher!
Or whatever the fuck this stupid piece of shit character is. Oracle!
Apparently Wonder Girl went back to being a thief because she's a fucking asshole. And Raven became her roommate because she's pure evil. Bunker and Beast Boy joined with the Green Team to create a new super hero group called International Douchebags. Kid Flash and Solstice are still fucked on future Earth a full
Actually, it only matters what happens from here on out. What came before was complete and utter garbage.