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Mild Mannered Reviews - Teen Titans Comics

Teen Titans Annual #3

Teen Titans Annual #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 7, 2014

Cover date: July 2014

"Be Careful What You Wish For"

Writer: Kenneth Rocafort
Penciller: Kenneth Rocafort, RB Silva & Tom Derenick
Inker: Vincente Cifuentes
Cover: Kenneth Rocafort

Reviewed by: Adam Dechanel

Click to enlarge

Red Robin lies beaten, wallowing in self pity at the fall of the Teen Titans.

An unnamed foe talks to him assuring the teenager that he and the others were doomed to fail all along. Robin dusts himself off, and issues a threat.

We jump back in time to just after the explosion on the Titans yacht, thankfully nobody died but that doesn't stop Red Robin from feeling overwhelming guilt for bringing them all together to begin with. Cassie assures him that despite his feelings, the Titans did a lot of good in their time.

Skitter arrives on the docks and brings up a barely functioning web tablet and the only salvageable object in the wreckage. Red Robin is taken aback and immediately worried. In Chinatown the team meet in a restaurant but just outside Bunker and Raven share a heart to heart. Miguel reveals that he knew of Raven's mission from the very beginning but he didn't hold her past against her, this completely shakes her and gives her a completely new outlook.

The web tablet reveals that Harvest has returned and has set up a colony in Africa and has deliberately leaked the information to draw the Titans into a trap. Despite the 'death' of the team they regroup for one final mission with Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Skitter, Bunker and Raven all keen to destroy Harvest for good. When the teens exit the restaurant they are shocked to discover they have walked into their former team mate 'Danny The Alley' after been injured during The Culling Danny was forced to recuperate but is now ready to help get the team to Africa.

The base the Titans find is not a murderous killing ground like before, instead it is a beautiful complex, a university campus with all the students safe, well and content. The team meet Omen and discover her now a human being named Lilith. Red Robin is suspicious, despite Bunker trying to see the bright side. Next they meet Artemis, also uninjured and completely human. Beast boy meets his friend Kevin also presumed dead but now clearly healed and human. Everyone seems safe, well and healed, living in a paradise. Red Robin is summoned to meet the Colonel, an elderly, wheelchair bound man barely alive. He swears that he is reformed and that killing Metahumans as per his original mission was clearly a mistake. He tells Red Robin that it was their first meeting that truly inspired his change of heart to create this new educational facility.

Returning to his team mates Red Robin relays his findings but they share his disbelief. Raven has also been secretly scanning the facility and discovers something in the basement. Her soul self teleports the team to join her and they find a giant DNA strand. They soon realize what Harvest's plan is and it's not to cure the teens - it's to steal their powers so he can use them for himself!

The DNA comes to life and begins attacking the team until they are all knocked out besides Red Robin. We arrive back to the start and the foe Red Robin was talking to is revealed to be Harvest. The villain reveals part of what he said is true, he doesn't want to kill the metas, just prevent their meta abilities being 'misused'. Red Robin smiles that Harvest's mission from the future was to stop all metas and particularly at teen age but the Titans were only ever formed because of the very same remit!

Harvest asks Red Robin to join him as they are the only two humans left but Red Robin points out what little humanity Harvest once had is completely gone. Even his body is a mess of mutated superhuman parts. Bunker secretly awakens and slides his bunker energy under Harvest's clothes and rips off his powerful armor until his elderly body is all that is left. Raven awakens and uses her soul self against the giant DNA monster, which instantly begins dying. Harvest screams out in sadness as the Teen Titans escape the base.

Harvest's African base explodes in a massive fireball. Raven scanned Harvest before the explosion and tells Red Robin that Harvest was cured of evil. Red Robin gives them all a closing speech about how Harvest's last act helped all the teenagers by giving them all a new lease of life and freedom.

Kon-El reveals the end of the Titans, he survived the death of Krypton with the help of the Oracle. Now he travels the spaceways of space and time as a galactic herald. Cassie couldn't completely give up her past as a petty cat burglar but has made more of an effort to be closer to her friends like Raven. Bunker and Beast Boy use a donation to the Teen Titans to form the 'Spectacular Internationale'. Solstice and Bar live happily in deep space and Skitter returned to her laboratory in Metropolis. Red Robin retuned to Batman's side to reform the dynamic duo.

What becomes of the Teen Titans? Kon-El announces that it doesn't matter... only that for a brief moment that they were all together as Titans.

The End.

3Story - 3: The whole thing seems like a rushed mess.

Everything from start to finish seems like a six issue arc compacted severely into this Annual.

Of course it was all 'dotting the Is and crossing the Ts' and therein lies the problem with the book. Lobdell created so many story threads that led nowhere and others that still lie unresolved that the book forced this all to end 'right now'. The big bad 'Harvest,' the deadly villain that created N.O.W.H.E.R.E, that orchestrated The Culling, that formed The Ravagers, that plagued Superboy... gone after 33 issues of New 52 books. It explains why Superboy/Jon Kent couldn't detect Harvest pulling him through the time stream in his own book but now leaves the 'Evil Legion' story as a dead weight. With the roster of the Teen Titans returning with everyone but Superboy and Skitter, let's be honest, nothing has really happened. The real shame is that perhaps the most creative villain with potential to have shaken the DCU to the core turned into a good guy at his death bed, 'cured of evil'.

I'll focus now on the ending with Superboy. Kon-El now becomes the Silver Surfer for the DC Universe and serves Oracle, their version of Galactus - that in itself is not a bad ending for Kon and leaves it open for Kon to still be around and influential to future stories. He too however is 'cured of his evil living weapon syndrome' which just comes off a bit too convenient. How that will factor into the haunting over in Superboy remains to be seen. I for one am glad Superboy is now free of his ties to one of the worst published books from DC in recent years and equally so now that he will be under different creative reigns and not part of this subpar roster to come with the 'all new' team.

To close... this wasn't a terrible end to the series but it certainly wasn't an epic or memorable finale either.

4Art - 4: Kenneth Rocafort's pages burst with energy as usual and give this final issue a much needed boost, but the switcheroo in the final eight pages seems unnecessary. Overall the artwork, as with most of the recent issues of Superboy and Superman, have been the only saving grace.

4Cover Art - 4: A nicely realized cover but the brown hues really dampen what could have been a truly great finale to a poor series.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

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