Thursday, September 8, 2016

Team Titans #4

Worst prom ever.

This issue is strange because it's not a great issue but it's better than a Titans book has been for quite some time. I never realized when I read this series decades ago how much influence editors have on the direction of a series. But upon reading this and the Titans series again, I see how editor Jon Peterson put Marv on a leash and led him into pure X-men territory. Not that, in some ways, leashing Marv wasn't a good thing! The things Marv usually did poorly seemed better but the stories, under Jon, lacked most of the characterization which drove the Titans in the first place. All the usual characters were killed or ousted while a bunch of one-dimensional characters like Pantha, Phantasm, and Deathstork took their places. All in all, the series just didn't feel like Wolfman was writing it anymore, or cared about writing what he was being told to write. It may have increased sales for a bit (I have no idea if it did but Jon Peterson's enthusiasm in the notes and letter pages makes it seem so?) but it really just left the Titans in an awkward place, emulating the X-men and their time travel stories, waiting to return to glory. I'm using "glory" quite loosely here.

This story is pure Marv Wolfman! That doesn't mean it's good! It's just different from what it was and, in a weird way, better. Especially after all that Teeny Titans bullshit.

Marv introduces us to Metallik, a Team Titans group from the future that is an amalgamation of every cartoon of the eighties created to sell toys. They're basically Jem and the Holograms who turn into Voltron and look like minor residents of Eternia. Throw in Battalion who is the meanest G.I. Joe you've ever seen (but with the biggest heart of all!) and I think this comic may have spawned a few dozen lawsuits.

No wait. Battalion isn't a G.I. Joe at all. He's just Lobo crossed with Wolverine and dressed like every 90s extreme character with death, dead, kill, or lok in their names.

The plot revolves around Judge and Jury becoming a rogue Team Titans team from the future who have decided to hunt down and kill all of the other Team Titans. The Team Titans all arrived at random points in the past so none of them know where any of the others are. It's time for Battalion to gather them together and protect them! The Team Titans team in Titans probably won't be an extremely important part of this comic from here on out. I think they get to be a whole group of sidekicks for the regular Titans.

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