Teen Titans (vol.3) #36 (July, 2006)
“The New Teen Titans, Part 3”
Writer – Geoff Johns
Penciller – Tony S. Daniel
Inkers – Kevin Conrad, Andy Lanning & Norm Rapmund
Colorists – Tanya & Richard Horie
Letterer – Travis Lanham
Assistant Editor – Jeanine Schaeffer
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99
Can even Geoff Johns hope to repair the post-Byrne Doom Patrol? I guess a Superboy-Prime reality-shattering punch can do the impossible!
In Paris… we know it’s Paris because the Eiffel Tower is visible… the Brain and Monsieur Mallah are discussing the Brotherhood’s latest plot. The former wants revenge on the Doom Patrol… and everyone they love… he’d also like an actual organic body, but we’ll get to that later. Speaking of the Doomies, they take the Titans to their creepy new digs. They’re surprised to see Mal Duncan is among their number. They’re even more surprised when he doesn’t greet them… because, ya know… he can’t. Robotman, Vox, Bumblebee, and Negative Man port-out to follow up on the Brotherhood. In a cool bit, when the Negative Entity flees Larry’s body, he slumps into a wheelchair.
Beast Boy explains Mal’s “issue”. During his time in space with Vic and Bumblebee, they ran into some problems. Vic was ‘sploded… Mal’s weapons blew up in his face, costing him his lungs and vocal cords… and Bumblebee was permanently shrunken to six-inches tall, and is now reliant on a special drug from the Chief to keep her tiny heart from exploding. Gar then offers Vic a spot on the Doom Patrol.
Meanwhile, the Chief and Elasti-Girl are operating on Kid Devil… in a secret room behind The Painting That Ate Paris. Caulder is really cold and matter-of-fact… he talks down to Rita, and seems to be treating her like she’s no more than a simple tool for him to use. It’s really quite sad. We also learn that Niles is responsible for Rita’s rebirth in the first place (because he reminds her). Turns out he took her skull from Codsville, and treated it with proteins until he could re-grow her body.
The surgery is interrupted by the ringing of Tim’s cell phone. An angry Caulder evicts him from the operating theater. On the line is Blue Devil… and he has some very surprising news for the Boy Wonder.
Elsewhere, Beast Boy is checking in with his adoptive father, Steve Dayton… who’s wearing the Mento helmet, and appears to be quite mad. Gar asks him for some help in locating the Brain and the Brotherhood… but Mento is too busy writing novels for Rita.
We join Cyborg, Wonder Girl and Ravager who are taking in the odd sights of the Doom Patrol’s headquarters. For any long-time fans of the franchise, this is quite the treat. There’s Brotherhood of Dada stuff, a Mister Nobody portrait… just some cool visuals.
Niles Caulder rolls in to inform them that Kid Devil is recovering… and that he’d like to discuss his future. Tim says first things first… before they talk about him, he wants to talk to him. In recovery, we learn that Blue Devil and Kid Devil are estranged… they haven’t spoken in years, and Cassidy didn’t even know that Eddie was a Teen Titan! Robin asks who Kid Devil has been checking in with over the phone… Eddie says “Nobody”.
Niles interrupts the discussion to suggest that Kid Devil doesn’t belong with the Teen Titans… instead, he should be part of the Doom Patrol. Robin says “no dice”, to which Beast Boy takes exception. Tim brings up how the Chief was responsible for causing the accidents that made the Doom Patrol into… the Doom Patrol. So, I guess that’s still part of continuity here. Rita says they’ve all forgiven him for that… which is kind of them.
Suddenly the Negative Entity returns… turns out Cliff, Mal and Karen have been captured. The Titans head to Paris and find their friends.
Wonder Girl and Ravager run in and slip in a bit of wet-stuff. Turns out it was the fluid where the Brain kept his… brain. Turns out the cloning was a success… and we can see the Brain has found a body… with a very butt-shaped head!
This was a grim… and uncomfortable read.
The Chief here is especially sinister, and the entire time I was waiting for that other shoe to drop. He’s made it so the Doomies are so beholden to him… he can talk to Rita like she’s an object… he can convince Steve Dayton that he has to stay in the Mento helmet in order for Rita to remain in love with him. It’s really quite creepy.
Creepy… and interesting! This might not be a Doom Patrol I’d want to read on a regular basis, but it’s cool enough for a guest-spot. It also helps us to learn what is (and isn’t) in continuity. In the 2004 John Byrne reboot, we were made to assume that the Doom Patrol were a “brand new” concept in the DC Universe. None of the stories before it happened… not the Morrison, not even the Arnold Drake!
Here, we come to find that many of the Morrison concepts actually did happen! The Painting that Ate Paris… Mister Nobody… the Chief “masterminding” the accidents of the Doom Patrol members… it’s really cool, and satisfying for long-time readers/fans of the franchise.
A Kid Devil mystery is introduced here. If he wasn’t calling into Cassidy, just who has be been talking to? Could he (and Vic) wind up leaving the Titans for the Doom Patrol? What’s the Chief’s plan here? Does he have an actual endgame in mind… or is he just lonely? A lot of neat questions here… and that’s without even mentioning the Brain in his butt-head!
A worthwhile read… one I’d certainly recommend.