Friday, July 15, 2016

Catching up on Comics -- Series Run: The Titans #9

1999, DC Comics
Dan Jurgens draws a shirtless Roy with a hairy chest
but inside Ale Garza draws him hairless.  They thought
no one would notice, but I did!

Forced into doing a tie-in to that year's event (as it was during the 1990s and 2000s), Devin Grayson brings Raven back to the Titans Tower, interrupting Donna and Roy just as they're about to get down to business.  Through Raven, Donna once again has to face up to her troubled history and her insecurities, but each time she does so, she seems the stronger for it.  Raven meanwhile is having difficulties of her own, but Donna extends to her an open invitation to join the Titans whenever she's ready.

Meanwhile, Goth is out on the loose again, having busted a kid out of juvenile detention.  He's got a sidekick that he doesn't really want in this annoying little nihilistic twerp (he's way too high energy to be a nihilist).  Goth doesn't see himself as a villain, per se, but sees that he could be so he explores the possibility.  Goth, being some form of demon creature, should be particularly interested in the whole "Day of Judgement" event and happenings, but when the annoying kid wants to go to Dis, Goth kills him to send him there, only to have the kid (his name is Rodman) immediately return and tell him Dis is closed and nobody's around.  Goth should be more concerned, but I guess, as is fitting for a demon of malaise, he could care less.  This is all weirdly played for laughs, particularly the scene where Goth slits the kid's throat and then his ghost form immediately returns to bitch about the afterlife.  It shouldn't be funny, but it actually is, but almost in an ironic way rather than an intentional one.

Meanwhile, Nightwing talks to Oracle about getting burned out defending Bludhaven, being on call for Batman's many predicaments, and having to deal with the Titans.  The latter is, for him, like falling back into a rut.  I'm unclear if Grayson means Dick and Kory or if he means Dick and the Titans as a whole.  He's not happy whatever it is.  A good, tight, one-page scene.  Grayson increasingly excels at those.

Meanwhile, Roy has it out with his babysitter (who, to his face says "you're great eye candy") as she tries to quit because she just can't reconcile Cheshire being Lian's mother (nor can she reconcile Roy's relationship with her).  Did Roy just admit to still loving Jade?

Meanwhile, Deathstroke is being hunted by Vandal Savage's band of goons.  Why, exactly?  Not sure.  Guess maybe he turned down their offer to join them.  He gets the holy hell beaten out of him and then somehow winds up on the doorstep of Titans Tower (which here, once more, looks like a proper tower, and not a hologram as was stated back in issue's another fill in artist so he may not have all the details of what's what with this series), making a pithy comment about hoping Lian is not one of the Titan's latest recruits before collapsing.  Deathstroke was in his anti-hero phase at this point still, I believe.

Meanwhile, Cyborg and his ex-girlfriend Sarah have a heart to heart, with hers trying to convince Vic that it's moved on, while Vic's still aches, feeling like the only thing human left in him.  It's a sweet and painful scene...again another nicely written one pager from Grayson.

Meanwhile, Damien Darhk is back, in that weird HIVE space with his mother, on the phone again.  I'm honestly not sure what's happening in this scene.  I think his mother, the head of HIVE just gave him whatever he wanted from the HIVE coffers, causing him to drop the cel
I can't explain it, but she's just...yeah.
phone that's almost permanently affixed to his ear.

The art here is from Ale Garza, with inks by "Cabin Boy" (seriously).  Garza gets all the details right, but his characters are all wildly exaggerated, disproportionate, unreal... it's less refined Humberto Ramos, in a way.  I'm not against this style of character illustration but I never like it for superhero comics.  It's too cartoony, better suited for funnybooks or fantasy.  And yet, even though I can't stand the style, I've still got the hots for Donna in her star-spangled Troia outfit.  Something about that costume, it's not that it's at all revealing or in any real way designed to insinuate sex, but I just love it.  It's so striking and powerful and eye catching.  My wife and I dressed up as Star Boy and Donna Troy one Halloween in matching spandex starfield costumes, and we looked great (sadly we somehow have no pictures).  Perhaps I just associate Donna with my wife (which I'm sure she won't be happy to hear, because she's not a Donna fan), but yeah, I used to love Donna in her old Teen Titans red catsuit too, so I guess I kinda think she's awesome. I supposed I'm a Donna fanboy.

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