Titans (vol.2) #26 (October, 2010)
“Suffer the Children”
Writer – Eric Wallace
Artists – Fabrizio Fiorentino & Cliff Richards
Colors – Hi-Fi
Letterer – Travis Lanham
Editor – Rex Ogle
Cover Price: $2.99
Okay, it’s been a little over a week of #BrightestMay coverage… and it still feels like we haven’t even made it out of the gate! So much repetition in the early stages of this crossovent.
So today… we’re going to jump ahead a few months and cover an interesting issue of Titans (vol.2). Since this is the first time we’re looking at them, let’s do a quick and dirty “catch up”. The volume started as… well, a Titans book. After Blackest Night ended, it became a Deathstroke book. He assembled his own team of “Titans”… and entered into an agreement with Lex Luthor (which we have seen the beginnings of).
We open in Star City’s Morningstar Cemetery… it is two weeks ago. Cheshire is knelt before the grave of her daughter Lian (we haven’t covered it here yet, but Lian was killed by Prometheus during Justice League: Cry for Justice. She is soon joined by Lian’s father, Roy Harper… Arsenal. This is hot off the heels of Roy’s relapse in Justice League: Rise and Fall/Rise of Arsenal… which, you might remember as the series where Roy mistakes a dead cat for his daughter.
Anyhoo, Cheshire has called Roy because she has a job for him. They appear to have an enemy in common…
Roy ain’t too keen on going toe-to-toe with Deathstroke… at this point, Roy doesn’t care much about anything. Jade tries to goad him by revealing that Deathstroke is referring to his team (which she is a member of) as “Titans”. Roy still doesn’t care. She finally guilts him into it by throwing the fact that Lian was murdered on his “watch”.
We shift scenes to a present day press conference being held at the Los Angeles Courthouse. A child named Christoff Brockman has been abducted as part of a child slavery ring. Afterwards, a text is sent… and it looks like an offer has been accepted.
Back in time again, this time only one week back… Deathstroke’s Titans, Cinder and the Tattooed Man chat about their current lots in life. Suddenly, Osiris busts in to accuse them of messing with his Isis statue (which we saw back in Brightest Day #0). He shoves Tattooed Man to the ground, and gets his face nicked up by teeny-tiny shuriken for his troubles. This shocks him, as he’s supposed to be invulnerable.
Then, the White Lantern entity calls out to him… and informs him that his sister Isis is needed, and he is the only one who can break her free. And so, he go.
Back to the present, Jade and the Tattooed Man are undercover meeting with a man named Elijah. He is the hook-up for a new drug called “Bliss”. Ya tired of these “new drug” stories yet? Yeah, me too.
He brings them to a run down gas station in the desert… then invites them inside. What we see is a “super-science” distillery… vats filled with a purple fluid.
It’s revealed that this “Bliss” is derived from a certain harvested ingredient… youth. Yeah, yeah. Anyhow, this is why all those kids (including that Christoff we heard about earlier) have been abducted. Now Cheshire just lost a child herself… so, she kinda lashes out and blows their cover.
Turns out this Elijah has himself a team of Metas at his disposal… and they respond in kind.
Flashback time, this time only 24 hours earlier. Cheshire attacks Slade… who disarms her pretty handily. Then, Arsenal appears and hurls a knife in Deathstroke’s direction… and it misses by inches. Wha? Roy never misses! Well, ya see… he’s not there to kill Slade, he’s there to join him!
Deathstroke is intrigued… and welcomes him “back” with open arms. Cheshire gives a knowing smirk to the camera… ya see, this was the plan all along.
Back in the present, Deathstroke’s Titans arrive at the vats… and they get their butts kicked by Elijah’s team… who he introduces as “The Dominators”… uhh, not those Dominators.
Not a bad issue.
I wish they’d spent a bit more time with Cheshire and Roy… as their bits were far more interesting than this “designer drug” and the resulting disposable “baddies of the month” that built to, but whattayagonnado?
Let’s concentrate on the good. Jade and Roy have just lost their daughter. Their relationship has always been… awkward… uncomfortable… odd… and this only makes it more so. Also, Roy’s just had a pretty bad drug relapse. We can joke about the “dead cat” all we like, but this was a pretty big deal. Or it would’ve been if Roy’s character hadn’t been resigned to “junkie first, archer second” since the O’Neil/Adams run. Still dug the back and forth between them though.
The designer drug thing? Ehh, so played out. At least this one doesn’t give the user meta-powers (that we know of). The Dominators? Ehh, just can’t be bothered to care.
The Brighest Day bits here were kept to a minimum… really just a page or two. Osiris is summoned to rescue Isis… and that’s it. We get no resolution, even though that scene was said to have occurred a week before the “current” story… and Osiris shows up for the “present day” Dominators fight. Oh well.
Overall, a decent enough issue… really good characterization for Cheshire and Roy. Cheshire’s inability to maintain her cool when learning about why children are being abducted is a nice touch considering what she’d just gone through. Worth mentioning, the art here is pretty fantastic as well.