Friday, April 1, 2016
Teen Titans #18 Review and **SPOILERS**
Wondering About Wonder Girl
Art By: Ian Churchill and Tom Derenick, Norm Rapmund and Art Thibert, Tony Aviña, Corey Breen
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: March 23, 2016
**NON-SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
They should rename this book the Twilight Titans, because apparently the book is Rebirthing in June with a new creative team and Damien Wayne at the helm. So that gives this arc a neat four issues to do whatever it’s going to do, which isn’t likely to be very much. Unless this is one of the books continuing while Rebirth debuts? The whole thing is so confusing, I can’t figure out what’s going to happen come June. Looks to me like we’re currently on the Wonder Girl Character Rehab Tour right now, which is a pretty noble endeavor since she has been a real drag in this series. Hopefully this will cheer some fans of the character before the book is totally revamped? I feel like I’m playing a violin on the sinking Titanic here. Read on if you’re curious to know what a dead comic book walking looks like!
Last we left the Titans gang, Wonder Woman caught Tim “Red Robin” Drake hanging around her partially-destroyed apartment and was pretty annoyed about it. Well, in between the last issue and this one, she got over it, and asks Red Robin to ‘splain himself. So Tim tells her that it was really Wonder Girl who busted up the joint, drawn to a bust of her father’s head like some gross fantasy porn film I just thought up. Simultaneously, the demigoddess Cassandra, who has fucked with the Titans before, shows up and promises to take Wonder Girl to see her real dad, and they took off leaving Red Robin holding the bag. Oh, and by the way, Wonder Girl’s name is Cassie. So Cassie and Cassandra have teamed up to find her poppa. Yeah, that doesn’t make things difficult for review and recap. Just know that Cassie is the blond one.
Meanwhile, in Southern Greece, the rest of the Teen Titans are fighting Cassandra and her Hyena Men (“Yes, Hyena Men,” writes Greg Pak) because they are very protective of W. Girl. And by “fighting Cassandra” I mean not one of them can stop fucking talking in circles, reiterating the same things over and over. Thing is Cassandra has proven to be a crazy murderin’ lady-god in the past, but she swears her mission is altruistic this time. To show how nice she is, she tells Cassie that her dad gave Cassandra the power to control mortals with her voice, and then we cut to Wonder Woman who tells Tim that Cassandra used that power to command forty people to murder each other. Uh, that’s not really a good indicator of your goodwill, Cassandra. Cassandra’s story of how great her intentions are when Wonder Woman rehashes some big chunks of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s run on Wonder Woman, namely when Cassandra killed Zeus’ First Born and a few other gods for good measure. Maybe someone should tell Cassandra what “good deeds” are, because right about now she’s like Charles Manson at his own hearing arguing against his parole. Cassandra explains that she now knows the error of her ways, and wants to help her niece, Cassie—also her namesake!—find Lennox because she doesn’t hold a little thing like him tearing her throat out against him. Then Cassandra breaks free and grabs the Rod of Ascelpius, who she also helpfully mentions is the God of Medicine. I’m not sure whether this triggers it or it’s just a coincidence that three giant snakes emerge from the Temple of Apollo and they attack everyone.
The Titans try to fight the snakes but fail, so then Wonder Girl sprouts her shitty space armor that nobody likes and goes all berserker rage on them, cutting the snakes in twain. Actually, the way the panel is depicted, she sort of busts through the batch of snakes, and the way it’s shown reminds me of Lorena Bobbitt for some reason. This really turns Cassandra on, because she’s completely fucked up if you will remember, but Cassie’s rage causes the Temple of Apollo to cave in on the crew—until Wonder Woman comes along and saves the day! Wonder Woman meets Wonder Girl and serves her with a cease and desist order, the runs over to Cassandra and socks her right in the mush. Cassandra pulls out a gun—come on, girl, this is Wonder Woman we’re talking about here!—and Diana nimbly kicks it out of her hand. Ultimately, W. Woman wraps Cassandra up in the Lasso of Truth, so Cassandra tells the truth: she is here to introduce Cassie to her dad, just like she said. Then Cassie figures out that Wonder Woman is actually her Aunt Wonder Woman, and it sort of peters out with Bunker concluding that there’s a team-up coming on. Great, just what this book needed: more people.
Though we’re presumably bearing down on the end of this series, this issue seemed to have a lot of padding. I think I understood the vital parts, but I was still confused by much of the comic book. It just seemed like the Titans try to subdue Cassandra, then try to subdue three giant snakes, fail at both tasks and then Wonder Woman shows up to make them all irrelevant. I guess if this ends up with Wonder Girl restored to her Amazonian heritage, some people will be happy, but for my part I just want some kind of coherent story for my three bucks. The art was handed by a bunch of people, and it shows. But it isn’t by itself any reason to avoid the book—the better reason is because the stakes seem really low and the story is equal parts uninteresting and confusing to the reader. I’d say at this point, you can sit tight and wait for Rebirth, whatever the hell that’s going to be.
Bits and Pieces:
It really seems to me like Greg Pak is spinning his wheels on this, and since it looks to wrap up in two months he may have every right to. This story continues exposing the secrets and mysteries of Wonder Girl, which is to say it's a love letter to Azzarello and Chiang's run on Wonder Woman. Ah well, spring is in the air. I'm sure Azzarello and Chiang have received things much worse than that, and probably from ruffians more unkempt than Pak and co. Unless you're some kind of masochistic Teen Titans fan looking to have every issue, no matter how shitty, then you can sit tight until there's a Rebirthing.