New Titans #92 (November, 1992)
“Total Chaos, Part 8: My Enemy — My Mother?!”
Writer – Marv Wolfman
Penciller – Tom Grummett
Inker – Al Vey
Letterer – Bob Pinaha
Colorist – Adrienne Roy
Assistant Editor – Frank Pittarese
Editor – Jon Peterson
Cover Price: $1.75
Welcome my friends to the… penultimate chapter of Total Chaos. After yesterday’s “chapter-in-name-only“, I’m excited to be getting back into the meat (and cheese) of this “crossovent”!
We open with the new-look Troia bursting into Dayton’s estate to attack Lord Chaos. If you recall, the last “proper” chapter ended with the roof of the place being torn off like the lid of a can of tuna fish. We didn’t see Donna, but, c’mon… who else was it gonna be? Worth noting, Terry is holding Baby Chaos… I don’t remember seeing a scene where he nabs the tot. This leads to a whole lotta Fitan-Titans… with even the Teamers hopping in to help the woman they came back in time to kill!
Before moving on, let’s zoom in on that little caption in the bottom right corner. Yup… that says exactly what I thought it said.
Lord Chaos, after taking on so much Titan-fire, begins to overload… Dayton’s place starts burning up. Terry hands Baby Chaos over to Redwing so he can try and get some face-time with the Titan God Troy.
Unfortunately, she’s busy crafting a tidal wave in a nearby body of water… perhaps the Long Island Sound? I dunno, are the Dayton Estates on the North Shore? Can’t recall. Anyhoo… using this tidal wave, she soaks the joint… putting out the fire, naturally… but also, nearly drowning everyone!
Chaos decides he’s had enough for now… and so, nyoinks the baby back and vanishes. Our mad Troia is about as pleased with this as one might imagine. Steve Dayton seems pretty down in the dumps, considering that this is the second one of his properties that the Titans have destroyed in as many issues.
Nightwing then decides that it’s time to try talkin’ to Troia. She’s, ya know, power-mad… and hell, maybe all-around mad… so, she’s not keen to hear what he’s got to say. She reminds them all that she is… a God before flying away.
She then goes full-on “Dark Troia”… though, she doesn’t incinerate a planet full of Asparagus-lookin’ aliens… instead, she heads right into New York City and raises some hell there… including apparently incinerating the offices of New York City Mayoral Hopeful… Elizabeth Alderman. I’d suggest that, sometimes… things just work themselves out, however I’m fairly certain that’s not the last we’ll see of her.
Back at Dayton’s the Teams of Titans decide it’s high time they put their differences aside… and maybe do the whole “proper introduction” thing. It leads to some handshakes and hugs… with perhaps some sexual tension as a kicker. It’s during this “meeting of the minds” where Dick posits that Lord Chaos isn’t exactly Donna and Terry’s son… but a “version” of him. Different timelines… different histories… all’at jazz.
At the very same time, Lord Chaos has also come to that conclusion. Well, actually… he just overheard Dick, but I’m not about to argue with the guy. He figures, may as well make the best of his current situation… and just take over the world anyway.
Back at Dayton’s, T. Arthur Long laments the fact that he couldn’t get through to Donna. Phantasm tells him to settle his tea kettle, because Donna knows how Terry feels… after all, she’s already returned! Also, she’s huge again.
Troia strikes a Phoenix-like pose before scooping up the remains of Dayton’s Estate. She then carries the Titans off so, together, they might save her son.
They fly off toward Titans Island… and when Troia realizes how close she is to her boy… she, uh… drops the Titans into the drink. Good lookin’ out, Troy.
To keep our classic X-Men imagery going… someone then bursts from the water! No, it ain’t Phoenix… or even Troia, it’s… uh, Aqualad. Hooray?
We wrap up on the inside of Lord Chaos’ pyramid… and the seemingly never-ending arrival of his personal army.
It’s been ages since I’ve last read the Dark Phoenix Saga… but, I’m kinda getting some Phoenixy vibes from this… ya know, minus the Shi’ar Empire, the Asparagus people… and, all of the mutants. Still, though! Feeling pangs of deja vu… though, I suppose it might just be me projectin’… you know how I be.
Everything from familiar poses, a husband/significant other trying to get through to his power-mad lover… hell, even Aqualad poppin’ outta the drink while the Titans bobbed in the surf. Definite Phoenix/Dark Phoenix pangs here.
So, is it any good? Well, I feel like this is definitely a “your mileage may vary” sorta story (though, really… aren’t they all?). Personally… I am surprised… shocked… bamboozled, even, by how much I’m not hating this! In fact… if we were to trim off all of the blubber (the Deathstroke bits, the build to Battalion’s reveal and the extended Titan-Fitan scenes), this would be a… pretty good story! Maybe even a really good one! If we could cut this sucker down to a 4-6 parter… then we’d be talkin’!
Speaking of Battalion… just where in all hells is he? I mean, dude gets a cover blurb two-chapters ago… and I think he’s appeared in a total of two panels up to this point. Not that I’m waiting with baited breath or anything… just seems weird that he’d get a fair amount of pomp… and more or less, no-show the event.
The Titans teams finally “come together” here… and, ya know… it’s about time. For a hot second there, I really thought we were about to start “Round 3” there. It’s been so long since I’d read (or tried to read) this arc… I wasn’t sure where the truce happened.
Overall… I’m still “on board”. It’s definitely declined in quality from its strong opening “Act”, but it hasn’t sunk to the depths that I… could’a sworn remembering it did! There’s another check in the “softening in my age” box. Tomorrow we’ll put this one to bed!