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Mild Mannered Reviews - Teen Titans Comics

Teen Titans #23.1

Teen Titans #23.1/Trigon #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 11, 2013

Cover date: November 2013

"Heart of Darkness"

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciller: Kafu
Inker: Kafu
Colors: Jason Wright

Reviewed by: Keith Samra

Click to enlarge

Our story begins with a narrative by an unknown character, and we find ourselves on a distant planet in the universe, a trio of Alien beings watch an alien planet and its inhabitants. We see the inhabitants at peace, enjoying life. Then we see the race some time later, and they are at war with one another. The trio of alien watchers isolate the source of the conflict on the planet. Three beings, one of the three looks very much human and has six eyes.

The alien watchers transport the three beings to where they are, in an attempt to purify the beings from evil. They manage to succeed with the two other beings as they feed the trio to the "Black Heart" (a source that feeds on the evil in the universe, like the Black Lantern), but the one humanoid being seems to soak in all the power from the "black heart" into himself. As he takes in all the power, he shouts "I am now power, I am now Death... I am now TRIGON".

Trigon makes short work of the alien watchers as he disintegrates them, using what little of their remains to fashion clothing for himself. Trigon now finding that he can't leave the realm in which he dwells, instead through a portal transports a woman to where he is, and mates with her. In doing so, he impregnates the woman, and sends her back to her own realm. The woman gives birth on her world, where the surrounding people stand in shock at the birth of a demon like child. Trigon himself is reborn through the child, and has found a way into a different realm. Trigon destroys all those around him, and seemingly grows up into adult form from a new born in a matter of seconds.

Trigon goes about spreading death and destruction from world to world, galaxy to galaxy. Whilst doing this, he rapes countless woman, in a bid to find one that can carry his child. Many of the women kill themselves rather than giving birth to his child, and any that did give birth, only three of his children survived, only to be rejected by Trigon himself, as he saw them to be weak and pathetic. Trigon orders his lackeys to go and find him more woman, in a search to find the one woman that would be strong enough to give him the perfect child.

Later on a world, that Trigon is laying waste to, a female warrior clad in armor, carrying a sword engages in battle with him. She manages to get the better of Trigon, something that no other being has been able to do yet. She shows that her armor protects her from Trigon's vast power set, and manages to get Trigon to retreat from her world. Vowing to return, Trigon reminds her that she may have stopped him, but cannot kill him.

Some time later, on a distant planet, Trigon, who still searches for a bride, now changing his strategy, and offering rewards and riches to those that bring him the one that will live and sire his child. Bounty hunter types from all around bring him women from all different planets. One brings him a young woman from Earth. The Earth woman is named Arella, and she tells Trigon that she both fears and worships him, and will serve all his needs. This pleases Trigon, and so was born the only female child of Trigon that survived. Raven.

We end with a reveal of the character who had been narrating the tale, and find it to be none other than Arella herself. She warns that Trigon is now coming to Earth, and plans to destroy all the males on Earth, and force all the women to carry his army of demons. Arella warns that until Trigon is dead, all life is imperiled. She claims that even if Raven were at her side, they could not defeat Trigon alone, and begs whomever she is talking to, if someone would help her kill Trigon.

4Story - 4: This issue was... different, and a little disturbing! Not at all what I expected from Marv Wolfman. Firstly let me say that, I'm a huge Marv Wolfman fan. He has written some of my favorite stories in the past. Especially his Teen Titans and Superman work. Now in saying that, Trigon's new origin is not that far off of what it was Pre-New 52. He still is pretty much evil incarnate. However, the supernatural aspect to him has seemed to be subsided with a sci-fi element.

The alien race that was purifying beings from evil at the start of the issue seemed very Guardian's of the Universe-like... Except they weren't blue... And had a giant black "space heart" to do their (purifying) work for them. I was a little confused with this at first. As it seemed either Trigon knew of the "black heart" or was a part of it. So in terms of origin stories, we see the birth of Trigon, but not the makings of the being that preceded it. Which in the bigger picture, doesn't really matter. Though I must say, I preferred the demon Trigon from hell, over this "root of all evil" Trigon.

So that takes care of the sci-fi element of the book, now the slightly more disturbing... To enter a new realm, Trigon had to teleport/transport and impregnate a woman, that would serve both as his bride and mother, so she could birth him to him, once he transported her back to her dimension/realm... Confused?... Not as complicated as it sounds, but still disturbing! And while we are on the subject of disturbing... Trigon essentially raping women from different dimensions to find one that could carry his progeny. This is indeed an evil act, one that you would expect from evil incarnate such as Trigon, but I was, I'm sorry very disturbed by this. I don't like subjects such as rape in my entertainment. Granted if it serves the story, it can be quite an interesting aspect, but here, though it fit well to a character such as Trigon, it seemed like it wasn't such a big deal what he was doing. Trigon committed such a heinous act over and over again, and it seemed distasteful to me, hence why I gave it a 4 and not a 5.

This was a solid read. Especially discovering at the end that the narrative came from Raven's mother Arella, who essentially gave herself to Trigon to be his bride and carry his child. And it appears that humans are the one that can manage to carry Trigon's seed. It will be interesting to find out who Arella is narrating the tale to, and whom she is asking for help in killing Trigon. If he can be slayed at all.

No members of the Teen Titans appear, not even Raven. Which is just as well, seeing that it is a Trigon centric issue. However, if you pay attention, the female warrior in the armor does have some similarities to that of Wonder Girl's armor! Are these two related? I think yes! What do you think?

Also, though we only see him from behind, and just get one face shot, the bounty hunter that brings Trigon the human woman Arella, looks a little like a Czarnian... Could this be Lobo? Or related to him in some way?

I wasn't expecting much out of Villain's Month. This book surprised me. Was good, but still, I don't like the subject of rape in my entertainment.

5Art - 5: Now to the fun part of the book. I absolutely loved the art in this book. What a fantastic job Cafu managed to do. When you think of Marv Wolfman, you automatically think of George Perez, and their epic work on the Teen Titans in the 80s. Cafu manages to capture the same magic that the Wolfman and Perez team brought to the table so many years ago!

The double page spread really took me back to comic layouts of the past. With one panel blending into the next. Trigon walking from infancy to Demonic Over Lord, simply put, some of the best composition art I have seen in years! Thank you Cafu.

Not many people can pull off the one man penciling and inking chores. The aforementioned George Perez is probably the best in the business still. Jerry Ordway and Jesus Merino are two others, and now I'm happy to say Cafu is right up there amongst these industry greats!

My only complaint is that I felt the issue wasn't long enough! I just wanted more of this awesome art!

Lastly the coloring really fit the mood of the book! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5Cover Art - 5: This month's cover was done by Eddie Barrows, Eber Ferreira and Alex Sinclair. I honestly really like this cover. It seems as though it may be a snapshot from a few issues ago in the main book. Trigon looks absolutely awesome. Also having Robin and Wonder Girl knocked down in the back was a nice touch.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2013

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