Saturday, August 23, 2014

The New Titans #126

Going Home

Dale Hrebik Writer
Rik Mays Artist
Chris Matthys Colorist
Albert de Guzman Letterer
Keri Kowalski Asst. Editor
Pat Garrahy Editor
A very special thanks to Ruben Diaz
Created by Marv Wolfman & George PĂ©rez

The Siege of Zi Charam is over, and the usual creative team has taken the month off, even though this is technically the first part of Meltdown, a countdown to the end of the series. Will Rosado did the cover, which finally features Arsenal for a change. He is the team leader, after all, so why not pull him out of the background once in a while?

The story begins with basically the exact same image on the cover of Arsenal falling off a bridge. Turns out it's just a training exercise with an old counter intelligence agent from the group Checkmate. Roy Harper then goes to a pool party with his friend, and we get a rare shot of Roy's daughter. There's some brief discussion about his duties as a father, but ultimately, it seems he places the Titans above his daughter.

At the Titans headquarters, Bart slows down to have a serious conversation with Roy. He says since he grew up so fast he probably doesn't know everything he should, and since Roy's sort of an adult, he might be able to help him. After a little prodding, Roy finds out Bart is talking about Rose. He says while everyone was off in space, it was basically just him and Rose manning the headquarters, but she never talked to him. Roy says Bart should just spend some time with her, pay attention, listen and not talk at her a million miles an hour. And then Rik Mays decides Bart needs to look like a girl.

After Bart leaves, it's revealed that Roy was actually Mirage the whole time. She transformed into him without even realizing it. Donna Troy and Kyle Rayner then join Mirage out on the lawn, then they're suddenly attacked by Impulse, Minion, Supergirl, Terra and Rose. Another goofy spar ensues, and Minion warns Donna that Bart said he'd "hit her so hard she wakes up in my century." Donna calls Bart a little imp, and he corrects her, saying his name is Impulse and that she'll never hit him even on her fastest day. Bart was right, and he tackles Donna, ruining her good jeans. She flips him off her and he bounces off Minion's hard Omegadrome.

Mirage again unwittingly transforms, this time into the super villain  Mongul. Supergirl easily takes her out, while Terra and Rose double-team Kyle. The real Roy soon arrives, asking whose idea this was, and everybody blames Bart and Tara. Bart calls Roy dad and apologizes for the mess, saying he just wanted to keep the troops sharp. He also says he wanted to play shirts and skins, but Tara wouldn't go for it.

Suddenly, Donna chews out Kyle for being too rough with Rose, and an editor's note tells us she was injured during a training session in Deathstroke #51. Rose yells at Donna for treating her like a little kid and storms off. Bart tries to talk to her about how awful Donna is, but Rose gives him a death glare, making Bart feel like a dunce.

We then cut to S.T.A.R. Labs in San Francisco, where the demon-possessed Changeling is being held in stasis. But then a careless lab technician tosses a thermos to his friend, and accidentally cracks the glass on Changeling's chamber, awakening him. Kind of a cheesy way to revive the villain, but whatever. Bart's not going to stick around for most of this Meltdown story, so we don't need to worry too much about it.

This was a rather odd filler issue. For starters, the art wasn't good at all, but that's usually been the standard with The New Titans lately. And Dale Hrebik certainly is no Marv Wolfman. I'm not sure why a fill-in writer would choose to do a character piece when he doesn't have a full grasp on the characters. He should have stuck to a simple monster-of-the-month story. I did like seeing Impulse turn to Arsenal as a trusted adult  — that feels right in line with his character. But I didn't like Bart's infatuation with Rose. I suppose the whole thing happened off-page, and it didn't feel natural at all. Especially when you read in Impulse's own series how he's completely oblivious to girls flirting with him.

The letters this month are from The New Titans #123, the Jarras Minion special issue. One writer, however, does mention Impulse.

Jack Grimes II, of Oxford, N.J., says Impulse is a great character whose personality actually matches his powers. Jack says Impulse can be annoying at times, but he is cool, and an enjoyable member of the team. Now for the ads:

A stellar wind blows across the starship Enterprise and in its wake death follows. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Ill Wind.

Trust nothing except your fear. Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions. Starring Famke Janssen before she became Jean Grey in the X-Men films.

Gotta own it. Make the music your own. Hum. You'd Prefer an Astronaut. Musicland and Sam Goody.

On ancient ground, at the edge of the world, an evil born in heaven is about to be unleashed on earth. Christopher Walken. The Prophecy.

Experience the dark world of White Wolf Publishing. A Nomad of the Time Streams. On a Darkling Plain. Borderlands 4.

Legends of darkness are not always myths. Vampire: The Eternal Struggle card game.

When absolute evil arises ... there'll be hell to pay! Underworld Unleashed. A three-issue miniseries changing the face of villainy in the DC Universe forever! Mark Waid, Howard Porter and Dan Green.

Next time, we return to the main series with Impulse #7.

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