Of course, if you asked me there wasn’t any problem with the current “Teen Titans” series. It seemed to be chugging right along with no problems. In fact, I only realized after reading “Titans East” that “Teen Titans” was cancelled. (It was, wasn’t it?)
Anyway, there were three additional selling points about “Titans East:” Hawk, Dove and Son of Vulcan.
As for Hawk and Dove, I fell in love with the duo back in the late 1980s and early 1990s with their short-lived series. In it, Dawn Granger took the roll of Dove and Hank Hall resumed his stint as Hawk.
The series was a great study of aggression and anger versus compassion and cleverness. I just loved the series, but no one else did and toward the end of it Hawk was revealed to be a villain and Dove was brutally killed.
It was a rotten end to a good series, and it took nearly a decade for it to get ironed out in a more palatable format.
Still, the series darn good, and it’s one of the few that I re-read from time to time.
Also on this new roster is Son of Vulcan. I’ve only recently become a SoV fan. I enjoyed the original incarnation of the character (He is a Charlton Comics implant after all), and this new version is vastly different, but I still thought he was interesting enough to keep an eye on. That being said, this issue proves it: The new Son of Vulcan has a god awful costume. It’s just plain ugly, and it needs to by un-Liefeldized for lack of a better term.
So, when I say Hawk, Dove and Son of Vulcan on a new team, I was pretty excited.
[[[*** Spoiler alert ***]]]
“Titans East Special” takes those three and a few others as Cyborg tries to assemble a new team.
He brings them together and sends them out to train … and then things go bad.
Power Boy gets impaled. The rest are all shot through with lasers and Cyborg gets blown to smithereens.
Yeah. Not exactly the ending I wanted to see. Three heroes I like possibly dead.
Not only is that annoying, but if any of those guys are actually dead, I’ll be mighty ticked as this will be another example of DC’s trend of ultra violence for no real effect. I mean really, who’s gonna say “Awesome, all those guys died! I wanna see what’s going to happen next!” I know I sure don’t care.
In fact, the cover of the comic, shown above, asks the readers “Who Will Die?” I was OK with a single one of them dying. I wouldn’t have been too upset if it was one of my “three” as long as it meant something. But now it appears that the answer to “Who Will Die?” is “All of Them!” and my response is “That Was Stupid!”
The set up of the book is as if it were really the start of a new team — obviously not the case — and on the final page of the book, we see the real point of this book: To point us to ANOTHER first issue, in this case “Titans” No. 1, featuring the mostly classic lineup of Nightwing, Flash, Starfire, Changeling, Cyborg, Donna Troy and Raven. The only one missing is Red Arrow.
Now, I’m all glad for that. The classic “New Teen Titans” was great book, but I bought this issue hoping it would be a test run for something a little new, not as a come-on to another book.
TITANS EAST SPECIAL No. 1
“The Fickle Hand — Part 1: Go East, Young Man”
Written by: Judd Winick
Art by: Ian Churchill
One and a half stars out of four stars. (A sleight-of-hand trick on anyone hoping to see a new team form, otherwise a regular old story bolstered by respectable art.)