Saturday, March 10, 2012

Teen Titans #29 - Oct. 1970

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Comics Weekend "Captives!" by Steve Skeates and Nick Cardy.

On Tuesday, in honor of Aqualad's birthday, we took a look back at a rare Aqua-centric issue of Teen Titans, which concerned Garth having to drag his former teammates into investigating a mystery that we now know involves his mentor's old foe, Ocean Master!

That first installment ended with Aqualad storming off in disgust, finding a clue that led to a shadowy figure knocking him out. When Garth woke up, he found himself tied to a tree, with the time to replenish himself with water almost up:
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Meanwhile, across town, two other Teen Titans, Hawk and Dove (in their civilian identities) are investigating this mystery on their own, wanting to get out from "the shadow of the Titans."

Some armed goons arrive, and Hank and Don change into their costumes. Don, in his role as Dove, is his usual useless self, and soon Hawk is knocked out and dragged out of Sharon's apartment. Dove goes and finds the Titans (so much for the "Let's do this ourselves" plan), and they engage the bad guys as they spy Hawk being dragged off a pier:
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Turns out Sharon saw the aliens' transformation, and that's what has been making her so unnerved--not knowing whether what she was was real or whether she was going crazy. Hawk is skeptical, but nevertheless they use teamwork to try and escape, stumbling into a room where Ocean Master and one of the aliens are plotting:
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Ocean Master, playing both ends against the middle, zaps the in-disguise alien with a ray gun, transforming back into his true form. Then the Teen Titans show up moments after Orm's alien accomplices do, and the whole thing becomes one giant chaotic fight. Aqualad takes a specific interest in taking out Ocean Master:
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Back at Titans HQ, Aqualad tries to talk the Titans into resuming their roles as superheroes, but he does not get the answer he wants:

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...awk-ward!

Despite this grim ending, this was of course not Aqualad's last work with the Titans. While I generally agree with his sentiment, he's such a jerk about it to his fellow pals that its surprising they kept hanging out with him. But the Titans are a forgiving bunch, I guess.

After such an Aqualad-centric first installment, this second chapter is much more about Hawk and Dove, two of the more ridiculous characters in the DCU. I was thrilled to see Steve Skeates tie in story elements from Aquaman, which was still kind of an unusual thing to do in comics. On the art front, Nick Cardy doesn't quite get as much of a chance to shine in this issue--except on the cover, where he was, as usual, brilliant.

4 comments:

bentongrey said...

Well, that looks like a pretty fun issue. The art is just plain beautiful though....I miss art like that.

Kent G. Hare said...

Skeates was, of course, also writing Aquaman at the time, but you're right, and I remember it making an pression on my young mind at the time. Being pretty DC exclusive in my younger years, Skeates on Aquaman and how it impacted on Aqualad in Teen Titans was my first real experience with the longer form and connected narrative potentials of the comics medium.

Thanks for highlighting these great issues!

Kent G. Hare said...

Obviously I mea IMpression. Dang awkward iPod Touch keypad!

Tempest127 said...

These were favorite Teen Titans issues of my "wonder years" and I still treasure them. And yes, Garth got wound up here, but I find it forgivable when I think of how many times the team left him out of things (particularly the fun things they did), discounted his abilities and generally were never there for him when he needed help. Despite that, Garth always showed up to do the dirty work for them---an aspect of his relationship with the team that Marv Wolfman addressed in excellent fashion several times during his New Teen Titans run. Thanks again, Rob.