Team Titans #2 (1992)

Team Titans #2 (October, 1992)
“Total Chaos, Part 6: From the Ashes of Defeat”
Writer – Marv Wolfman
Penciller – Kevin Maguire
Inker – Will Blyberg
Letterer – John Costanza
Colorist – Adrienne Roy
Assistant Editor – Frank Pittarese
Editor – Jon Peterson
Cover Price: $1.75

Wrapping up Act II of TOTAL CHAOS!

We open in the year 2001.  Remember Killowat’s pal Josh?  No?  Well… he was part of Charlie’s backup during the senses-shattering (and finger-cramping) Team Titans #1.  He’s an Agent of Chaos… and hasn’t had the change of heart ol’ Chuck did.  What’s more, he’s totally cool with taking that one-way trip back in time to stop the Team Titans from endangering his lordship, Chaos.

Back in the present, Donna Troy is back… and she’s huge!  I’m feeling really bad for the art teams here, because… this is a really tough scene to make look cool.  This jumps straight over “B-Movie” to Syfy original, without the snarky wink-nudge irony.

So… Donna appeared on Earth, just so she could freak out about not having her son… and so, she flies toward the Moon to reclaim him.  Starfire gives chase… much to Dick’s annoyance, and Miri’s pleasure.  Miri is positively rabid for the former Boy Wonder… it’s really quite strange.  She didn’t seem nearly this horny last chapter.  The Teamers’ characterization has been really bipolar all throughout so far.  I’d suggest it’s poor communication between writers, but… you know.

It’s heavily alluded to that, during Mirage’s time as Starfire… she and Dick, ya know… banged.  This leads to perhaps the oddest panels I’ve seen in quite some time.

Isn’t depression just a fancy word for feeling “bummed out”?

We join Kory, who is flying toward the Moon… though, she must’ve forgotten that the Moon is in space, because she’s surprised when she goes to breathe and finds that there’s no oxygen filling her lungs.  The Titans (plus Mirage) decide to reconnoiter back at Dayton’s Estate.  It’s a good thing ol’ Mento has so many homes for the Titans to destroy!

We jump over to the Teamers… who are rather ticked off that Miri is hanging out with the originals.  Ol’ Killowat is taking this especially bad… seems he has a thing for their field leader.  Redwing takes off to survey their new home-year, and comes across a group of bad dudes (who look a lot like Zartan’s Dreadnoks from G.I. Joe) pouring gasoline on a homeless man.  This it pretty hardcore, ain’t it?  

The Teamers waste no time… wasting these geeks.  After several pages of beating the holy hell out of ’em… Nightrider actually kills one!  Ya see kids, these definitely ain’t your daddy’s Teen Titans.  Unless, of course, you were born in the last 20-30 years… in which case, they very well might be.

Troia arrives on the Moon, and finds… nothing.  She can feel that Chaos’ essence has moved on.  Her thoughts immediately go to Terry.

On Titans Island, construction of the Pyramid is complete.  Lord Chaos signs all the paperwork, and starts moving in.  He monologues to his younger self… and promises to kill one T. Arthur Long.

The Teamers reconnoiter… and wonder what their next move might be.  How can they make Donna Troy come to them?  Well, Terra’s got an idea… and it concerns “The Whiner”, who… we’re going to assume is T. Arthur Long.  Everybody wants Terry!

We shift back to the Dollar Store Dreadnoks, who now find themselves being attacked by that shadowy bemulleted fella who stepped out of the portal last chapter.

At Dayton’s Estate… Kory returns to the team, and she’s soaking wet.  Ya see, she flew into orbit… not realizing there’s no oxygen up there… then plummeted into the Ocean.  You might figure a super-speed flight home might dry her off… but, you’d figure wrong.  I mean, it’s gotta take at least a few days for her hair to dry.  Anyhoo, the Titans are attacked by the Teamers… and they want TERRY.

At that very same moment, Lord Chaos arrives… and, guess what… he wants TERRY too!

Fortunately for our main man… somebody arrives to peel the roof off’a Dayton’s place like an easy-open soup can.  But who???  C’mon… 

We wrap up back in the alley with the Dollar Store Dreadnoks… again.  This time they get completely melted by a gun blast.

The final-page reveals that their killer is… I wanna make a “Cable” joke, but that’s too easy.  We’ll just call him by his name… ladies and gentlemen, meet Battalion!

Hmm… so, do I say “So far, So good”, yet?

Okay, okay… this is getting silly.  I still don’t necessarily consider it “bad” though.  I guess that’s what you get when you revisit something with the lowest of expectations.  Hard to be disappointed, when you’re expecting it!

What I will say, however is… this entire “Second Act” could have been done in a single issue.  We didn’t need the bloated filler-flashback in Deathstroke #15… we didn’t need the bloated Titan-Fitan scenes in New Titans #91… and we really didn’t need the Dollar Store Dreadnoks getting so much “screen time” here.  Not that I’d consider “Act I” of Total Chaos to be especially “tight”, but it did flow a heckuva lot better.

I wanna briefly talk about characterization when it comes to the Teamers.  They feel especially bipolar during “Act II”.  Terra goes from crying when Changeling tells her to hit the bricks… to becoming such a jerk.  Miri goes from being in this almost cautious-awe of Dick Grayson… to jumping his bones, and taunting him about… well, sexually assaulting him!  Seems a bit severe… and makes me feel like we’re missing a few key scenes.

So… everybody wants Terry, don’t they?  It’s almost humorous… well, no actually it is rather humorous that we have so many scenes of people vowing to find our man.  The Terry-obsession is strong… and contagious!  Head down to the pharmacy and get your shots today!

We also meet… Battalion!  Two of the biggest characters in comics around this time were Cable and Wolverine… seems like, with Battalion, they decided “screw it, just merge ’em together… the kids’ll love it!”  We can tell that they were excited for this fella… he even gets a blurb on the cover!  I’ve forgotten nearly everything about this guy… so, I’m sorta-kinda interested in relearning what he’s all about.

Worth mentioning, the art here is fantastic… but, some of the situations just defy artistic ability.  Just like with Baby Wildebeest, there’s no way a 50-foot tall Donna Troy (in that gold onesie) is ever going to look “cool”.  Maguire does his best with what he’s given though!

Overall… definitely a weak “middle” for Total Chaos… but, like I’ve been saying… it’s not as bad as you’ve (probably) heard it is.  If this is as far as the “other shoe” drops… I think I’d give this a solid recommendation.  Keeping in mind, however… we still gotta get through Act III.

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