Titans #38 Review

Deathstroke vs. Arsenal for leadership of the team, with guest villain Dr. Sivana.

Titans #38

I really wanted to like the Titans title. It featured several characters that I like: Deathstroke, Arsenal, Cheshire, Osiris. And the final arc had guest stars I like: Dr. Sivana (who seems to have become DC’s go to mad scientist), and Jericho. But somehow, none of that was enough.

Fair warning, because of how a lot of this issue turned out, there will be some rants about the new DC in here. If you don’t want to hear it, maybe skip this review.

The team is split over whether or not to use the Methuselah Machine to bring back their various loved ones, and fights ensue. Elsewhere, we see the funeral for Ryan Choi, the Atom whose death started this whole thing, with a nice speech from Ray Palmer, the last remaining Atom (there could be only one?). Despite his being off his game since Cry For Justice, Roy Harper suddenly snaps back to hero mode and fights Deathstroke to a stand still, in part over outrage that Slade is darkening the Titans name? This seem odd to anyone else? The machine eventually blows up, and the team fragments. Osiris flies off with Dr. Sivana, as they scheme to kill the wizard Shazam, since all the “good” Marvels have been depowered. Cinder apparently dies destroying the machine, so the character created for the series dies with it. Ink and Cheshire wander off, saying they want nothing to do with the team anymore. Deathstroke escapes, decides he’s been too soft lately, and says he’s throwing out the rule book “So watch out world. Next stop? Crazy town.” Seriously, since when does he talk like that? Roy and Jericho are the only ones left, and they shake hands, agreeing to start a new team. Of course, that’s never going to happen as this issue ends the series as a part of DC’s shutting down their universe for the reboot.

The new DC has a few of these characters showing up in it. Deathstroke has his own book, in which he’s supposed to be a “flat out villain, not an anti-hero.” Hopefully he’ll be better written than he was in this train wreck. Roy Harper will be part of “Red Hood and the Outlaws.” One of the predictions for this finale here was that Roy would use the machine to resurrect Lian and/or get his arm back, as he has his real arm, not the bionic one, in the new DC. Neither of those things happen, so it’s either just part of the reboot, or somehow between here and there he grows a new one. Who knows? Jericho regrew his eyes a while back with no explanation.

As to whatever Sivana and Osiris have planned, we may never know. The entire Marvel family seems to be among the many missing in the new DCU, along with the JSA (with one exception, see below), Wally West, Donna Troy, Stephanie Brown, fan-favorite Bird of Prey Lady Blackhawk Zinda Blake, and many more. For that matter, since Didio has strongly implied that most of the New Teen Titans era of history will be out of continuity, Jericho shouldn’t be around anymore either, so I guess the new team would be Roy?

As for Eric Wallace, the man who wrote this generally poor title with horrid dialogue and mis-characterizations? He’s been given a new book in the DC-nU. Wallace will be the one behind the new Mr. Terrific book, the sole survivor of the JSA. Why he gets a book after this nonsense and talent like Bryan Q Miller, who did such an outstanding job on the Batgirl book, gets nothing, is beyond me.

What I liked and what I didn’t:

I’m sorry, I have very little here on the plus side. I guess it makes sense that Ink and Cheshire walked at the end here- they had nothing to gain by being here anymore. The Arsenal/Jericho team could have been an interesting start if their universe wasn’t being yanked out from under them.

This was just bad. Slade’s lines seemed really off for him. I don’t see how Roy, the druggie and depressive, suddenly was able to beat him in a fight (Roy lost badly to Slade the one time they fought one on one before, over Cheshire years ago). The powerhouse that Osiris is at least supposed to be should’ve been able to wipe the floor with the “good” side of the team, and he largely stood around and did nothing, allowing the machine to be destroyed. Even the cover was wrong. If you look at it, you see Jericho standing there with what looks like electrical power building around his hands. Jericho has no energy powers at all. And once again, Cheshire, the mistress of poisons, slashes someone with her talons, and they suffer no ill effects at all. Even the art is off, there’s a close up of Ray at Ryan’s funeral, and atom insignia that’s always been on his belt buckle is missing.

This is not the worst ever run I’ve ever read (so far, Henderson’s Teen Titans run still has that distinction in my book) but this was really bad. I can’t fathom giving this man a new book after this debacle.


Pros Cons
Roy on the good side finally Roy beating Deathstroke, the lines, Osiris in (in)action


1 Comment

  1. El Tofu says:

    That book was a mess just like the whole title. Titans is one of the books where I’m glad it’s over for now.


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