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Johnny Bullet
DC Comics
Teen Titans # 74
By Koppy McFad

Aug 29, 2009 - 2:34

Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Bryan Q. Miller/ Sean McKeever
Penciller(s): Joe Bennet, Jack Jadson
Cover Artist(s): Joe Bennet, Jack Jadson
$3.99 US 40 pages


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In a violent confrontation with the Fearsome Five, the Teen Titans suffer another fatality. In fact, this is the selling point of the issue which has a huge coffin on its cover.

Frankly, at this point it has gotten tiresome to see Teen Titans killed off. The book has been pretty violent in recent months and the newest killing just comes off as a bitter joke by DC Comics in the face of all the remarks that Teen Titans are created just to be killed off.

While the deceased hero manages to go out in a blaze of glory, it fails to really move the reader because Titans have become disposable at this point. The creative teams introduce Titans a bushel at a time and then a year later, half of them are dead or discovered to be villains in the first place. When Wonder Girl (well, you knew she wasn't the one who was going to die, didn't you?) explodes in rage at the villains over the death of her friend, it really feels she should be angry at the DC Comics editors for having so little regard for the Titans that they can maim or kill them at their leisure.

The art, with its heavy shadows and distended figures, makes the comic look dirty and sordid. Maybe that was the intention but it does make the story harder to follow. You can't tell which parts of the story happen in a darkened tunnel and which happen in broad daylight.

In the past, fans have accused DC Comics of using the deaths of superheroes as cheap gimmicks to 'shock' the reader. While that may not have been true in many cases, this death certainly comes off as a cheap gimmick to get rid of a character who failed to get any real popularity and ended up being disposable. Maybe this character will come back as a Black Lantern but right now, DC Comics is left looking bloodthirsty and exploitative.

The real victims of this story is the whole TEEN TITANS franchise which looks like it is trapped in the whole "grim-and-gritty" mindset of the 1990s, making it one of the most joyless comics put out by DC or Marvel. By the way, with the death rate of Titans, isn't it about time for the adult Justice League members to step in and give these kids the proper adult supervision?

There is also a Ravager back-up feature which, in story and art, is as violent and morbid as the main feature. The main difference is that the protagonist, the Ravager, is so unlikeable that you actually want her to be killed.

 



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