52! Week Twenty-One

By Johns, Morrison, Rucka, Waid, Giffen, Bennett, Jadson, Baron, Lanham, Richards, Schaefer, Wacker. Cover by Jones and Sinclair.

52 was a weekly series published by DC Comics starting in May, 2006. Because I had my 52nd birthday in late 2020, I thought it might be interesting (fun?) to examine this series for its 15th anniversary. I plan to post once a week about each issue. To read previous posts, click the link (52!).

Synopsis

“Teambuilding Exercises”

Week 21, Day 1

Natasha Irons convinces Lex Luthor to allow speedster Eliza (aka Trajectory) to rejoin the team, making Eliza very happy. She professes her love of the speedster heroes and her desire to prove herself so she can join the Teen Titans.

Week 21, Day 2

Ralph Dibny and the Helmet of Fate convince a demonguard to open a gate to Hell.

Week 21, Day 3

Under the direction of Lex Luthor, his new Infinity, Inc. team debuts by apprehending Blockbuster. While the newly arrived Teen Titans clean up the damage caused by the fight, new team leader Beast Boy warns Natasha about Luthor’s intentions. Luthor helps Blockbuster escape his bonds, and Trajectory races off by herself. Luthor turns off her powers and Blockbuster kills her.

Week 21, Day 6

At Trajectory’s funeral in Alabama, Hot Spot, Little Barda, and Power Boy quit the Teen Titans, while John Henry Irons tries to talk to Natasha about Luthor. Beast Boy offers to help John.

Week 21, Day 7

In Australia, Johnny Warrawa grafts Red Tornado’s head onto a crude, robotic body.

Thoughts

The collaborators do a fine job of endearing us to Eliza in a few pages, especially after her previous appearance as a neophyte drug addict, which makes what happens to her all the more tragic. And we see what Dr. Avasti told John Irons the previous issue come true, meaning that Luthor can indeed turn on and off an Everyman’s program participant’s  metagene. Speaking of John, I’m starting to wonder if what Luthor did to him affected his mind. For a guy who created his own super armor, to confront Natasha at the funeral as he did was just stupid.

We get not one, but two superteam debuts: Infinity, Inc. and the Teen Titans. Luthor buying the Pemberton Estate and the associated Infinity, Inc. trademark is so Luthor. What was new to me was this version of the Teen Titans. Did I forget how these particular members ended up as the Teen Titans or did we ever get the story? I want to read more about the Raven/Zachary Zatara and Little Barda/Power Boy relationships, not to mention Beast Boy taking on a leadership role. Regardless, this team was short-lived with the three desertions.

It’s painful to see how Ralph treated the demon, and now Ralph’s descent into hell is  literal. But will this story be another telling of Orpheus and Eurydice or something far worse?

LBR X Retrosode 6: New Teen Titans Spotlight

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2020 is the 10th anniversary of the Longbox Review podcast, and to celebrate, I am spotlighting 10 episodes from the archive. This is a rebroadcast of episode 92 from 2015 where I talk about one of my very favorite comic book titles of all time, The New Teen Titans.

Thank you for supporting the podcast over these 10 years.

Original post: https://longboxreview.com/2015/12/19/podcast-episode-92-new-teen-titans-spotlight/

RandoMonday: New Teen Titans #6

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

 

NTT 6

New Teen Titans (1981) #6 by Marv Wolfman & George Pérez (co-creators), Pablo Marcos (guest inker), John Costanza (letterer), Jerry Serpe (colorist), Len Wein (editor), and George Pérez (cover)

This comic is cover dated April, 1981, but it would be several years before I obtained it and found out how the Titans defeated Trigon the Terrible for the first time. This issue opens just after Raven joins her father in order to spare Earth. Then, we get a lesson in just how much of a massive dick Trigon is. First, he kills a young girl for insulting him after Raven saves her, then he destroys a planet, and finally he admits to Raven that he lied to her when he told her that he would spare Earth. Meanwhile, the other Titans try to convince the Azarathians to help them, but only Raven’s mother, Arella, helps take the Titans to Trigon’s stronghold. Along the way, they, and we, learn Raven’s origin: how Arella became pregnant by Trigon, and how the Azarathians rescued her and then helped to raise and train Raven to control her emotions. The Titans then confront Trigon, but are easily defeated. Arella & Raven make their escape from Trigon’s clutches, and then Raven frees the Titans. The teen heroes develop a plan to defeat Trigon by working together, and with help and sacrifice from Arella, Trigon is banished.

I have to say, after so long between knowing the Titans battled and defeated Trigon, and actually reading how those events unfolded, I was a little disappointed. Also, when you compare this story with the second bout in the 1984 Baxter series, this one falls short. However, this is not a bad end to a grand battle against a god-like being. In fact, the somber tone that ends the story was different from most of the comics that I was reading at the time. Of course, NTT often told superhero stories a bit differently, which is one reason why I loved the series so much.

Acquisition Avalanche!

I’ve acquired some comics and other things in the last year (most of which is in the last few months), so I wanted to show them to you. Thanks for watching!

www.youtube.com/user/longboxreview/

The Gutters: Vegas Vacation

I talk about the mostly comic book related parts of my Vegas vacation.

Thanks for listening!

Direct Download (18:00)

Check out the two Back Issue! magazines: #33 and #58.

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