|Teen Titans #5: Life and Death trade paperback cover|
Published by DC Comics
Cover Price $14.99
Collects: Teen Titans, Volume 3, #29-33, Annual #1, Robin #146-147, Infinite Crisis #5-6
Writers: Geoff Johns, Bill Willingham, Bill Williams and Marv Wolfman
Pencilers: Tony S. Daniel, Todd Nauck, Scott McDaniel, Ed Benes, Dale Eaglesham, Tom Grindberg, Elton Ramalho and Phil Jimenez
Well the good news is that I really enjoyed this trade paperback of Teen Titans, the bad news is I haven't read books two through four. I was at Media Underground Comics in Metairie, LA and I was thinking about picking up a Teen Titans trade since I liked the first one but I only saw book five when I looked through the shelves and normally I wouldn't buy trades out of order but I did and it was a good choice for me.
This trade covers a lot of different comics which does make it a bit confusing although it's all one story and it does fit together pretty well. Actually my only problem with the book is that they did not include any indication of what issues or title you are reading or who the creative teams were throughout the book. It's a little odd to me that they would include four issues of comics that fall outside the Teen Titans title but I think they needed to do so to complete the story being told here.
So what's it all about? The simple version is that Superboy from Earth-Prime is trying to get back home and he blames the Titans of Earth-Two and Conner Kent the resident Superboy for ruining things. This alternate Superboy aims to destroy Conner and the Teen Titans at any cost. Conner is beaten to the point of death and the Teen Titans have to find a cure for him that only Lex Luthor will have.
One of my favorite parts of the book happens at the beginning when Robin (Tim Drake) meets original Robin Jason Todd and they have a battle that leads Tim Drake on the path to becoming the leader of the Teen Titans. The book also has plenty of subplots that I found interesting and have solidified me as a fan of this team. Oddly enough the love story between Wonder Girl and Superboy stood out to me most because it seemed genuine and I think it had potential to be a nice long story for the characters but at the end of the book things seem to end up badly (trying not to spoil it). Tim Drake becoming the better Robin and better leader of the team also proved to be a nice turning point for the character.
I think the only character that I'm undecided on as to if I like them or not is Beastboy. He seems to be the comic relief and I'm good with that but I just don't know if I like him yet or not. Maybe once I read more about him I will be able to decide how I fell but at this point he's just kind of there and I don't really care too much for or against him. I think his power of changing into different kinds of animals isn't really my thing.
The book has a lot going on in it especially when the Infinite Crisis parts kick in adding more characters to the mix and I did find a few pages of it a bit confusing and had to read over it a time or two but that's just because I'm not familiar with DC's characters as much as those of Marvel Comics. There are a lot of fights between superheroes and super villains, monsters and robots and a solid background story to keep it interesting. I think this is a solid comic book series that really captures the essence of coming of age characters trying to become great heroes.
I definitely need to find books 2-4 and all the others in this series which I believe is a total of 18 trade paperbacks including the two Teen Titans/Outsiders books.
Thanks for reading,
Kevin P. Johnson