OK, bias disclaimer time: I’m a long time fan of the Teen Titans, and have always liked the Flashes’ Rogues. Putting them in the same book, and adding Deathstroke, kind of prejudices me towards liking it in the first place, and that’s what they did in the one shot Teen Titans: Cold Case.
This story is set some time ago, during the point after the One Year Later stories, after Identity Crisis, and during the time that both Kid Flash II and Superboy were dead. Robin Tim Drake is having nightmares about the death of his father during Identity Crisis, and wakes with a start to a different nightmare. Rose Wilson, Ravager, has snuck into his room again, and is of course discovered there by some teammates, including Wonder Girl, who was somewhat involved with Tim at this time, and Kid Devil, who had a thing for Rose, and a very bemused Cyborg. Tim loses his temper at Rose and Eddie (Kid Devil) both after Cassie storms out in tears. Rose wanders outside the Tower, and is confronted by a hologram of her father, Deathstroke, who says he has something for her that will help her relationship with Robin. Slade also claims Rose killed his servant and best friend Wintergreen, but more on that later.
Rose eventually goes where directed, and is followed by Eddie. Eddie, always a major hero fan, points out the teleporting mirror they find likely means Mirror Master, which means the Rogues. Ravager, ever taking Eddie for granted, plunges ahead anyway, dragging him along. They confront Mirror Master, Captain Cold, and the Trickster (more on that, too). Disturbingly, the Rogues have a costume memorial similar to Batman’s for Jason Todd, this one dedicated to the fallen Rogue Captain Boomerang. The fight goes well enough until Rose sees the case her father was taunting her with and gets distracted, leading to both Titans being captured, Kid Devil overpowered by Cold’s gun and Rose tripped up by the Trickster.
Back at the Tower, Robin reviews video of what happened outside, but has no audio, and leaps to the erroneous, but understandable, conclusion that Rose kidnapped Eddie. He rounds up the team to go rescue Eddie, using a homer planted in Rose’s costume. Back wherever the Rogues are, Cold and Slade continue their bargaining, Slade wants Rose back, not caring about Eddie (poor kid), and the Rogues want Boomerang II, who is at this time acting as a hero, which upsets them. Slade has some serum he has used before to make good characters go bad (Rose earlier, also the Cassandra Cain Batgirl), and a deal is struck.
Meanwhile, the other Titans go to the Flash Museum, which apparently was attacked at some point off screen. After a very awkward moment between Cassie and Tim over Superboy being gone (“I didn’t mean it like that”), Robin finds a mirror fragment which will take them to the Rogues. More argument follows (What about Rose? Let’s see whose side she’s on first), and they move out. They find the Rogues have not been idle, and have called in about every Flash Rogue still around minus Abra Kadabra, who most of them prefer to avoid due to his combination of power and insanity. Of course, Rose has gotten herself most of the way free and is just reaching for her weapons as the heroes arrive, making herself look even worse to Robin. There is an amusing bit of Robin pinning her to the ground, and Rose saying “You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this, sexy.” Kid Devil sets Robin straight, and Cassie ends up looking like the only competent Titan here, getting Cold and Heatwave to take out Girder with some deft maneuvering. Learning that the case is something to do with him, Robin takes his turn to get distracted, needing to be rescued by Kid Devil who he mocked so badly earlier.
There’s more fighting, and the Titans are figuring out they can’t win this one with the people that they have. Another amusing scene of Rose and Wonder Girl working together and then snubbing each other, and then Tim grabs up one of the Rogue’s weapons, dealing with his major aversion to guns picked up from Batman and his own glimpse of his future from the Titans of Tomorrow. They make good their escape, Rose pulling a last minute save of Slade/Robin’s case. After reassuring Rose the tracker was in case Slade took her again, Robin opens his case, to find… a gun. It might be the one his father used to kill Captain Boomerang, it might be the one Robin uses in the future, and it seriously unsettles him either way. On the last few pages, Slade tells the Rogues no Titans, no deal, and shatters their mirror. He tells the severed head of Wintergreen that this whole thing was more or less a mind game, one that made Robin doubt himself and show Rose how screwed up the Titans are, making her more likely to come back to him.
What I liked and what I didn’t:
As I said, I like both teams and all the characters in here. It’s always nice to see Slade as the master manipulator- he had both teams fighting and never even really showed up except via hologram. There was some nice history of all the characters mentioned here. So those bits are all good.
I didn’t like the art. No one looked quite right, and Cassie looked really horrid, especially her hair. There was also an odd scene where Mirror Master had one of his guns in the opposite hand from his empty holster, which just looked wrong. There are some odd plot holes here- when was the Flash Museum attacked this time? Wintergreen was killed by a possessed Jericho, NOT Rose. I’m pretty sure they used the wrong Trickster here- the first was not yet dead, but was working with the FBI at this point, IIRC. Everyone seemed just way too on edge here, too ready to snipe at each other.
It wasn’t a bad issue, but was far from great.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Titans and Rogues, some nice history mentions
||bad continuity, odd art, plot holes