Team Titans #3 (1992)

Team Titans #3 (November, 1992)
“Total Chaos, Part 9: Out of Chaos!”
Writer – Marv Wolfman
Penciller – Kevin Maguire
Inks – Will Blyberg & Jose Marzan, Jr.
Letterer – John Costanza
Colorist – Adrienne Roy
Assistant Editor – Frank Pittarese
Editor – Jonathan Peterson
Cover Price: $1.75

Finally time to put Total Chaos to bed!

For your convenience, or my own compulsivity (perhaps both!), I’m going to add our Total Chaos discussions to the Collected Editions Page!

We open with… Battalion!  Hey, remember him?!  Made a big deal outta him a few chapters back.  Well, he’s back, and really seems to like using the word “cheese” as an insult.  He wanders into the path of a truck… and stops it with his fist!

Our final Totally Chaotic chapter begins… “Out of Chaos!”, but… waitasec, the cover said…

Oh well.  There are only two editors listed here… usually something like that gets missed by a panel of 5 or 6!  Anyhoo… back on Titans Island, Troia infiltrates Lord Chaos’ Temple to get her baby back.

The Titans follow soon after… and before we know it, a battle is raging between they and Chaos’ army.  Troia eventually loses her damned mind and goes to incinerate Lord Chaos… just bathing him in this nasty pink energy bolt.’

Terry, who also followed along, pops up and tries to reason with his wife… tries to talk her down from the precipice, but she just ain’t hearin’ none of it.  Chaos lifts his hand as if to fire back, however… gets popped by the arriving Battalion before he can.

Teamer Mirage ain’t exactly pleased to be seeing him… it does lead to an absolutely delightful full-page introduction for the man though.  And yeah, he calls someone a “piece of cheese”.  Moments later, he’d introduce himself as the “drill sergeant from hell”.

Meanwhile, Lord Chaos done healed up… and starts spouting off about protecting the future he created.  Troia has a different opinion… also, the Titan Gods have decided to chime in with their pretty blue word balloons to blink the entire lot of ’em off Earth.

Then, in a page that… I swear is out of order, because it feels so out of place, Josh… you remember Josh, he was Charlie Killowat’s pal in the future.  Yeah, him!  Anyhoo, he’s here… and he’s lookin’ to kill his Chaos-traitor buddy.  Only, Lord Chaos tells him to lower his weapon?!  Well, duh, it’s actually Miri.  Also, Charlie’s got it badddd for her.

On the very next page, everybody’s been deposited at the Home of the Gods.  See what I mean about that last page feeling “out of order”?  Anyhoo, it’s time to, in the words of Battalion, “kick some Chaos butt”.

Chaos’ army looks kinda weird… some of them look like they’re wearing a spiked version of Lashina’s helmet.  Speaking of weird, Redwing suddenly has a huge gun!  Not sure where she was carrying it, but whattayagonnado?

We then take a look at Donna… and she’s starting to get a bit of clarity.  She thinks back to the events of “Who is Wonder Girl?” and considers what being given all of her Godly powers all at once might do to her mind… like, ya know… drive her mad f’rinstance.  She thinks about what her future might be like… and the divergence she currently stands at.  In one strand, she and Terry raise the child… the other, he becomes Lord Chaos.

She then makes the ultimate decision… she embraces Lord Chaos, and sends him to be “with the Gods” before relinquishing her own Godly powers.

And everything is suddenly… all right.

All’s well that ends… well?!

Gotta say, you guys… this wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared.  Actually, strike that… this wasn’t bad, period.  Sure, Total Chaos dragged in parts (like ya know, nearly every comic book crossovent) and there were some silly moments (again… like most every event), but there’s actually a pretty decent story here.

I mentioned during our senses-shattering finger-cramping deep-dive into Team Titans #1 that I am a sucker for “world building”… and it feels like the creative team put a lot of effort into building the “Chaos Future”… and gave us plenty of reason to root against it coming to pass.

Upon first glance, the Teamers look… generic, ya know?  Like what you’d see in a brand-ecch “Heroes” RPG sourcebook in the late 1980’s.  But, I gotta say… Marv and the gang made them their “own” people here.  It’s almost enough to bum you out when you realize what they’re fated to become.  Having them stand alongside the actual Titans here was a pretty good coronation… and maybe even, endorsement?  I know I’m not totally against following up with their own book now.  I’m not exactly chomping at the bit… but, it beats my previous mix of indifference and disdain.

I’ve been saving this for a bit… but, how in all hells do people willingly follow someone named “Lord Chaos”?  Like, people are lining up to join his side… and actually view him as a sorta benevolent force.  I mean, dude’s name. is. CHAOS.  I think we can get away with a “Doctor Doom” created in the early 1960’s… but, a Lord Chaos in the early 1990’s?  That might be a hair too silly.

Let’s get some of the issue-centric stuff outta the way before taking a look at Total Chaos as on great big thing.  This issue feels… kinda disjointed.  I pointed out some things like the book having two titles… the Josh scene just “happening” when the Titans were supposed to be in the midst of being swept away… hell, even things like Redwing having a great big rifle and Battalion somehow jumping from the middle of a desolate road to Titans Island in no time flat.

It’s as though, at the last moment… Marv and the gang realized “oh crap, we’ve gotta lotta loose ends to tie off here… and only one issue to do it!”  Also, I feel like their attention might be focused on the next Titans event (Titans $ell-Out, which starts eeeeeeemmediately after this issue) and this might’ve been an afterthought/”going through the motions”.

So… as a single chapter… it’s kinda weak and clunky, but gets us where we need to be.

Which is to say, it gets us to a depowered new mommy in Donna Troy.  Was this intended to be Donna Troy’s swansong in the long-term sense?  Hard to say.  Seems to tie off her loose ends, however, at the end of the day… this is still comics.  For the short-term, it works as a way to parlay her (and the fam) over to New Jersey so she can be something of a “den mother” to the time-lost Teamers… which, if I were a betting man (and it’s probably a good thing I’m not), I’d suggest that was likely the ultimate goal here.

So… where do we go from here?  Well, as mentioned Titans $ell-Out begins literally seconds after this… so, that might be in our future.  I actually just reread it yesterday… and it’s… something.

As for Total Chaos… if you’re a Titans fan (or even Titans-curious), trust me when I say… it’s not as bad as you think/not as bad as you might’ve heard.  I’d give this a pretty solid recommendation due to the world building, strong first “Act”, and decisive (actually status-quo shaking) ending.  Just understand that the Deathstroke chapters will drag (and be barely relevant) and the third Act feels a bit like spaghetti being thrown at the wall.  This entire magilla is available digitally… and, has been collected in trade.

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0 thoughts on “Team Titans #3 (1992)

  • As much as this era of Titans is maligned by many a review site, I can't hate this crossover. It could've been really great if they had tighten up the screws a bit. Having Aquald appear as a saving grace at the end of the penultimate chapter only to have in appear in maybe two panels in the finale seems odd. This final chapter reads very slapdash. I know Wolfman is better at timing out stories so I assume some of these problems were because of internal edicts or something. Great work as always, Chris! Really enjoyed experiencing this Chaotic ride with your commentary.

    • This era is definitely among the "lowest hanging fruit" when it comes to online reviews… I'm convinced most of 'em didn't even bother to read it! It's at that unfortunate intersection of "90s comics" and "crossover", which causes some folks to have a sort of knee-jerk reaction and bias against it.

      This final chapter did feel quite piecy… and I don't think any of the DEATHSTROKE chapters were anywhere near necessary… but, I had a much better time with it overall, than I thought I would!

      Thank you so much for checking it out!


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