Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blackest Night: Titans #1

“When Death Comes Knocking”

Writer: J.T. Krul
Penciller: Ed Benes
Inker: Rob Hunter, Jon Sibal & J.P. Mayer
Editor: Eddie Berganza & Brian Cunningham

Synopsis

On Heroes Day, Titans old and new gather to honor their fallen teammates, but they soon come under attack by resurrected Black Lanterns. Beast Boy is visited by his lost love, the traitor Terra, while Donna Troy hears her dead son call out to her. And in Georgetown, Hawk and Dove are attacked by the first Hawk, who aims to have the duo join him in death…

Notes

Page 1: Deathstroke the Terminator, real name Slade Wilson. First appeared in The New Teen Titans (first series) #2. Possesses enhanced physical and mental attributes as well as a healing factor, and armed with high-tech weaponry.

The “H.I.V.E.” is the Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination.

Deathstroke is kneeling before the grave of his son, Grant Wilson, who accepted the H.I.V.E.’s contract to kill the New Ten Titans and got himself killed.

Red Star, real name Leonid Konstantinovitch Kovar. First appeared (as Starfire II) in Teen Titans (first series) #18, and (as Red Star) in The New Teen Titans (first series) #18. Possesses superhuman strength, speed and the ability to shift to a flame form.

Seen in the photograph by Red Star’s bedside are Pantha and Wildebeast.

Ravager V, real name Rose Wilson. First appeared (as Rose) in Deathstroke the Terminator #15 and (as Ravager) in Teen Titans (third series) #8. Possesses enhanced strength, reflexes and endurance, as well as limited precognitive ability.

Pages 2-3: This scene takes place concurrent with Blackest Night #1, page 10.

From left to right, some of the Titans assembled here…

Cyborg, real name Victor “Vic” Stone. First appeared in DC Comics Presents #26. Possesses enhanced strength and durability as well as advanced sensors and weaponry due to cybernetic prosthetics.

Beast Boy, real name Garfield Mark “Gar” Logan. First appeared in Doom Patrol (first series) #99. Able to shape shift into any animal. He went by the name “Changeling” for years, but has since returned to his original codename.

Starfire III, real name Koriand’r, also known as Kory Anders. First appeared in DC Comics Presents #26. Can absorb solar energy so that she can fly and project destructive blasts known as starbolts.

Dove II, real name Dawn Granger. First appeared in Hawk and Dove (first series) #1. Seemingly died in Armageddon 2001 #2, but this was later revealed to be a deception by Mordru. Possesses heightened strength and reflexes, expanded mental capabilities and the ability to fly. Sister to Hawk.

Hawk III, real name Holly Granger. First appeared in Teen Titans (third series) #22. Possesses heightened strength, speed and endurance. Sister to Dove.

Wonder Girl II, real name Cassandra “Cassie” Sandsmark. First appeared (as Cassie) in Wonder Woman (second series) #105 and (as Wonder Girl) in Wonder Woman (second series) #111. Possesses god-given flight, superhuman strength, speed and durability as well as a mystic lasso.

Kid Flash II, real name Bartholomew “Bart” Allen. First appeared (as Impulse) in The Flash (second series) #92, and (as Kid Flash) in Teen Titans (third series) #4. He also briefly donned the identity of Flash IV as of Infinite Crisis #5, but was killed in The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #13. He returned in Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #3. Able to move at superhuman speed.

Donna Troy, real name…well, Donna Troy. First appeared (as Wonder Girl I) in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #60, (as Troia) in The New Titans #55, (as Darkstar) in Darkstars #23, and (as Wonder Woman III) in 52 Week Fifty. Killed in Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day #3, but was returned to life at the end of that issue. Possesses superhuman strength, speed and fighting skills as well as flight.

Geo-Force, real name Brion Markov. First appeared in The Brave and the Bold (first series) #200. Possesses superhuman strength, endurance, flight, the ability to project lava blasts, gravity manipulation and earth manipulation.

The Titans are honoring their fallen including Hawk and Dove, Aquagirl and Omen.

“Connor” refers to the recently resurrected Connor Kent, a.k.a. Superboy.

“Terry” was Terrence Long, Donna’s husband. “Robert” was their son.

“Brother Blood” and “Trigon” refer to two longtime Teen Titans foes.

Page 4: More statues of former Titans…Wildebeest (seen in the photograph on page 1), Osiris, Golden Eagle, Marvin Harris and Terra I.

As Starfire notes, Terra was a traitor. She was recruited by Deathstroke to join the Titans and earn their trust so that she could learn their identities and secrets and use them against them.

The “Ravager” mentioned by Beast Boy is the same one as depicted on page 1. She was twisted and manipulated by Deathstroke, her father, even going so far as to blind herself in one eye to align herself more with him.

Page 5: “Pompous, egotistical…sexist. Sounded like a total tool.” Yeah, that was pretty much Hank Hall in a nutshell.

The “Lord of Chaos” who empowers Hawk is T’Charr; its Lord of Order counterpart, who empowers Dove, is Terataya. Now, how Hawk and Dove still have their powers after the events of Day of Vengeance (in which the Lords of Order and Chaos were destroyed) remains to be seen.

“But remember…in the end, he died a bad guy.” After Hawk thought Dove was killed, he adopted the identity of Monarch in an effort to bring order to the world. He later evolved into the being known as Extant, and was later killed while battling the JSA.

Page 6: This scene takes place immediately after Blackest Night #2, page 8. As you can see, the Black Lantern power ring is still trying to raise Don Hall, with no success.

Dove I, real name Donald “Don” Hall. First appeared in Showcase #75. Killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12. Possessed heightened strength and agility.

Page 7: So, in Panel One, Holly and Dawn are walking into the bar, when they really should be exiting to the street.

This scene illustrates how different Holly is interested in military history, counter terrorism and the martial arts, and only thinks about her life as Hawk. On the other hand, Dawn, dressed in her peace-sign short, wants to talk about her feelings and get all touchy-feely.

Page 8: Hawk and Dove transform from their human forms into their superhero guises by saying their names when danger is near.

Page 9: As per Black Lantern Hawk’s point of view, Hawk is showing signs of “Rage,” which is normal for her. He cannot, however, “read” Dove’s emotional signature. Does this have to do with the nature of Dove’s power? And is this connected to the same reason why Don Hall cannot be raised from the dead? Are the Dove’s “at peace” and can’t be corrupted by the power of the Black Lanterns?

Page 10: Hawk I, real name Henry “Hank” Hall. First appeared (as Hawk) in Showcase #75, (as Monarch) in Armageddon 2001 #2, and (as Extant) in Showcase ’94 #9. Killed in JSA #15. Possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina and invulnerability.

Page 12: Terra I, real name Tara Markov. First appeared in The New Teen Titans (first series) #26. Killed in Tales of The New Teen Titans Annual #3.

Page 13: “I watched you get buried beneath a hundred tons of rubble.” While trying to kill Deathstroke, a maddened Terra collapsed a H.I.V.E. complex down upon herself.

“Conner and Bart can come back to the people they love but I can’t?” Okay, two things to make note of. First of all, Beast Boy (as Changeling) was romantically involved with Terra, and took her betrayal and death extremely hard.

Secondly, this obviously isn’t a Terra that has hidden from the world and has now decided to go public again. So how does she know who Conner and Bart are? Does this have to do with the nature of the Black Lantern resurrections? As in, these aren’t actually the souls of the original heroes in their bodies, and that another force is speaking for them? Because, in some cases (like this one) they seem to know things that they shouldn’t and act in ways totally contrary to their original personality.

Page 15: “Otherwise you’d know that you can’t lay a finger on me if I don’t want you to. It’s how I see the world. I know what you’re going to do before you do it.” Dove’s mental capabilities allow her to predict what a foe will do in combat.

Page 17: Black Lantern Omen reads Beast Boy’s emotional signature as “Love.”

Omen, real name Lilith Clay Jupiter. First appeared (as Lilith Clay) in Teen Titans (first series) #25 and (as Omen) in Teen Titans (third series) #1. Killed in Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day #2. Possessed several mental abilities, including precognition, limited telepathy and teleportation.

Pages 18-19: “Mommy?” Okay, little Robert Long coming back to life is just downright creepy.

Page 22: Oooh, that looks like that hurt…

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