Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teen Titans #78

“Tortured Souls”

Writer: J.T. Krul

Penciller: Joe Bennett

Inker: Jack Jadson & Ruy Jose

Editor: Brian Cunningham


Jericho lends a hand to Deathstroke and Ravager against the Black Lanterns arrayed against them, but their foes seem unstoppable. It isn’t until Jericho pit the Black Lanterns against one another that the Wilson family comes together for victory. But the family that kills Black Lanterns together doesn’t necessarily stay together…


Pages 1-3: A brief recap of Jericho’s life, almost-death, rebirth and journey through Crazy-town.

“My eyes have healed.” Last month, I theorized that because Jericho’s eyes seemed intact, J.T. Krul was ignoring the events of “Deathtrap” because it was a crappy story. Sadly, the events of that tale are still in continuity; evidently, Joe Wilson has simply regenerated his eyes. Oh well. I can hope.

Page 4: Jericho and Black Lantern Ravager I last appeared in Teen Titans (third series) #77. The events on pages 3 and 4 occur before that story.

Page 5: Ravager V last appeared in Teen Titans (third series) #77.

“I’m so sorry for what the Vigilante did to you.” Vigilante cut out Joe’s eyes in Vigilante (third series) #6.

“I tried to kill you, Rose. I tried to kill all of you.” Yeah, this happened in that “Deathtrap” story that I mentioned. It was bad; really, really bad. Basically, Joe went nuts, tried to kill the Teen Titans and the Titans. And then he tried to kill them again. And again. Honestly, it got a bit repetitive.

Page 6: Black Lantern Ravager IV last appeared in Teen Titans (third series) #77.

Note that the Black Lantern Ravagers are using their Black Lantern power rings to create energy constructs of their swords.

Rose is feeling fear.

Page 7: Deathstroke the Terminator and Black Lanterns Adeline Kane Wilson and William Randolph Wintergreen last appeared in Teen Titans (third series) #77.

Page 8: Rose is feeling love. Slade is feeling rage and will.

Page 9: “—I won’t fail this time.” Black Lantern Ravager IV is threatening to cut Rose’s throat in the same manner that the Jackal threatened to cut Joey’s throat years ago. Back then, Slade was too slow and Joey was rendered mute. Interestingly enough, Ravager IV, Wade DeFarge, was the man who hired the Jackal to kidnap Slade’s family in the first place.

Slade is feeling rage.

Page 10: On the screens inside Slade’s bunker are videos of the second Tattooed Man, Mark Richards, and Cheshire. Judging by the last page of Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink #6, it would seem that Richards will become part of Slade’s new Titans team, whatever that’s going to be. Slade is apparently keeping tabs on prospective new teammates.

Pages 12-13: You like wasting bullets, Slade?

Page 15: “I could have killed Grayson or Logan or any of them whenever I wanted.” “Grayson” refers to Dick Grayson, the hero formerly known as Robin and Nightwing, now Batman. Logan” refers to Garfield Logan, formerly known as the Changeling, now known as Beast Boy.

Slade is feeling love.

“Jackpot.” So, are some emotions “worth” more to the Black Lanterns? I mean, does killing someone feeling love charge up the Black Lantern Power Battery more than killing someone feeling rage? It seems that the Black Lanterns attempt to get a victim to feel a certain emotion before killing them, rather than just anything.

I figure that this is now a moot point, considering that the Black Lantern Power Battery is fully charged, and there are other, more important things to worry about. Just pondering.

Pages 18-19: When Joe leaps into Black Lantern Adeline’s body, he seems to have a link to other Black Lanterns. Seen here are scenes from other Blackest Night-related titles:

Black Lantern Terra attacking Beast Boy; and Wonder Girl and Kid Flash dealing with a Black Lantern-infected Donna Troy, from Blackest Night: Titans #2;

Black Lantern Hawk attacking Dove, but getting destroyed by Dove’s power, in Blackest Night: Titans #3;

Red Robin, cradling Black Lantern Jack Drake while Black Lantern Captain Boomerang looks on, from Blackest Night: Batman #3;

And Black Lantern Kal-L attacking Superboy, in Blackest Night: Superman #1.

Now then, Joe can’t be seeing things that are occurring at that moment, because, at the very least, the Dove scene takes place after the other scenes with the Titans, at the very least. Perhaps, when in a Black Lantern, Joe can see things that have happened previously, as well as events happening at that point in time.

Also note that Joe is only experiencing events occurring to other Titans, whether current or former members – Dove, Beast Boy, Donna Troy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Red Robin (formerly Robin) and Superboy.

Page 21: Joe is feeling love and will.

Page 23: Wow, them Black Lanterns are tougher than you think!

Joe is feeling will.

Pages 24-25: “So, nothing can kill you but each other.” Well, that’s not necessarily true. Thus far, here are the ways in which to destroy a Black Lantern:

The light of a Green Lantern power ring, when combined with the light from another color of the emotional spectrum;

Something about Dove can destroy a Black Lantern, but it has yet to be explained what that is;

Halo and Doctor Light’s light-generating abilities seem to work as well..

Also, the emotion-manipulating Medusa Mask “shuts off” a Black Lantern; it doesn’t destroy them, though.

Joe is feeling fear.

Page 27: “Watch over one another. Fight the real fight. Do things the other Titans never could. Or would.” Oh, man, Slade’s pitching a new team-series concept to his kids. And I bet they’re gonna be all “pro-active” and “hardcore.” How lame…

Page 28: “Rose, wait. I’m in.” Joe, you always were a sucker.

“He was able to stop me before when no one else could handle it.” It’s true. Back when Joe went nutty (for the first time) and was possessed by the souls of Azarath and took control of the Wildebeest Society and tried to kill the Titans (again, for the first time)…well, Joe wasn’t well. Slade recognized this, and plunged his sword through Joe’s chest to end the threat. Fortunately, Joe leaped into Slade’s body for safety, but we didn’t learn this until later. This all transpired in The New Titans #83.

Page 29: “If I were you, I’d watch out for needles.” Poor Rose. After she teamed-up with her father, Slade injected her with the same serum that gave him his abilities.. Unfortunately for Rose, it made her psychotic. She holds a grudge.

“Impossible. Rose – Lillian is dead.” Rose’s mother, Lillian Worth, also know as Sweet Lili, died – supposedly – in Deathstroke the Hunted #45.

Page 30: So, Ravager is off in search of her mom, while Slade and Joe have a new Titans team to form. And who says that dysfunctional family reunions can’t be productive?