Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The New Titans #122


Syndicate Rites!

Marv Wolfman Writer
Finn Harris Artist
Albert DeGuzman Letterer
Chris Matthys Colorist
Keri Kowalski Asst. Editor
Pat Garrahy Editor
Special thanks to Lois Krabbe
The New Titans created by Wolfman & Peréz

The second part of the Crimelord-Syndicate War unfortunately also suffers from horrible art. I don't know if that was because this crossover was rushed, or if this stem from Pat Garrahy's inability to keep a consistent art team — Finn Harris takes over this issue after William Rosado drew just five issues of the book. Whatever the reason, this art is unpalatable. Just look at this mess of a cover. Everyone looks wrong — especially one of my favorites, Minion. And to make matters worse, Impulse is nowhere to be found. However, it might be preferable to not have Impulse at all rather than have a grotesque version of him.

Deathstroke #48 ended with the Titans being inexplicably beaten by the Syndicate. Instead of explaining how such powerful heroes could be knocked out, this issue begins with all the Titans being captured except for Deathstroke and Darkstar. Deathstroke, who had been flying around with a stupid propeller-backpack, is blasted out of the air and dies in Darkstars arms. She then goes nuts on the Syndicate, but they get her to stop attacking by threatening to kill the Titans.

We then cut to S.T.A.R. Labs in San Francisco, where Green Lantern and Jarras Minion are visiting Mirage in a hospital bed. If I'm not mistaken, she suffered a miscarriage during the Forever Evil story line that Impulse was not a part of. Anyway, Lantern and Jarras are soon summoned to the other side of the country to meet Sargent Steel at the Titans headquarters in New Jersey. Steel introduces them to their newest team member, Rose Wilson Worth, the daughter of Deathstroke. Steel then immediately sends Lantern and Jarras to Dallas to help out the rest of the Titans. I feel bad for these two, who pretty much wasted all day flying back and forth across America. I'm sure the personal introduction of Rose could have waited until after the Crimelord-Syndicate War.

Anyway, we see that Deathstroke suddenly and mysteriously comes back to life a few moments after dying, and he immediately takes off to rescue the Titans, who are being held in a force field. Impulse sums up my feelings about this art.

Luckily, Damage is able to free them with a large blast, which Deathstroke unluckily got caught in, and he dies for the second time in the past five minutes. When he's asked how he came back to life, he quotes Monty Python with a simple, "I got better." As the Titans attempt to escape, the Syndicate sends in their big guns — giant robots called Cybernaughts.

Green Lantern and Minion show up just in time to battle the robots, and Impulse uses his speed to draw the robots' fire away from the team, but he ends up causing a lot of collateral damage with this tactic. The Titans are quickly overwhelmed by the Cybernaughts, and soon Green Lantern, Darkstar and Supergirl are knocked out. Damage begins to panic, saying their most powerful member have been taken out, but Impulse reminds him that they're pretty good, too. Suddenly, a strange little ship arrives, which Impulse believes to be help. Instead, the ship is carrying Crimelord's Force-Troops — Coven, Slagg, Deadzone, Powerhouse, Bolt, Sudden Death and Mammoth.

This story had tons of potential, but the art just killed it. The action scenes are so chaotic, I can't tell what's going on at all. I have to rely exclusively on the dialogue, and even that is unreliable. At one point, Damage thinks, "They got Bart and Roy!" But two panels later, we see Bart is perfectly fine. I don't know what to make of it. I honestly can't wait for this crossover to end, which is a shame, since I really like the idea of the Titans having crossovers with Darkstars and Deathstroke.

For some reason, the letters to the editor page is missing, so we'll head straight to the ads.

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Next time, we'll take a break from this disappointing Crimelord-Syndicate War and find out once and for all exactly how Impulse joined the Titans in The New Titans Annual #11.

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