Teen Titans (vol.2) #13 (1997)

Teen Titans (vol.2) #13 (October, 1997)
“Then & Now, Part 2 of 4”
Story & Pencils – Dan Jurgens
Finished Art – George Perez
Colors – Gregory Wright
Separations – Digital Chameleon
Letters – Richard Starkings & Comicraft/LA
Associate Editor – Dana Kurtin
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $1.95

Let’s continue this Titanic four-par… waitasec, this is a Genesis tie-in?!  C’mon, we didn’t sign up for that!

Picking up right where we left off last issue, the “founding Titans” are in that fictional land of “Wyoming” and find themselves stood before their younger selves.  Naturally, this leads to some fisticuffs… and some trash-talk.  From the get-go, the “real-deal” Titans are kinda getting their butts kicked.  The younglings are talkin’ smack, and clappin’ back… performing at a level of experience they really shouldn’t have.  The only Titan able to best his younger self is… duh… Nightwing.

We then shift scenes back to the Cardy Boarding School… a couple of hours earlier.  The Mad Mod is shocked by the arrival of the… New New (New?) Teen Titans (can’t remember if I refer to them with two or three “News”).  He’s happy to see that they are safe… and happier to learn that Prysm ain’t dead.  Ray Palmer then demonstrates his new ability to grow taller than six inches.

Turns out, they were off dealing with the events of Genesis… which might only be marginally less terrible than being held hostage.  The Atom explains that his new powers are a result of the Genesis-Wave.  The New-est Teen Titans then load up in their jet and head toward Wyoming.  They leave the Mod behind, so they don’t hear his warning that the original Titans are already there.

We follow the Newest Titans on their trip… and it’s a pretty contentious scene.  Risk is tired of the Atom name-dropping his pals in the JLA, and isn’t shy about letting him know.  This little “power struggle” might be interesting, if I cared a lick about any of these characters.

Upon arrival in Wyoming, the Newest Titans are attacked by… uh, “those Psion freaks”… and a fight is on.

After some scufflin’… Omen arrives to lift the “veil of deception”.  Turns out the “young Titans” the originals were duking it out with were actually the Newest Teen Titans… and the “Psion Freaks” the newbies were tusslin’ with were the Originals!

Once the “veil” is lifted, the two Titanic teams shake hands and make nice.  Argent seemed to enjoy Nightwing “hitting on her”… wow, this was a couple of years before Devin Grayson started writing her!  Then, a portal opens… and Omen is nyoinked inside by some tentacled beast.  The originals find something about Omen to be familiar.  Hmm… (just play along)

The Titans then find themselves standing in front of Haze’s castle… er, neighborhood… uh, place.  The giant form of Haze shows off his “spiffy” new costume, cracks a few jokes and invites them inside to search for Mr. Jupiter.  This dude is lame.

Wally suggests getting the JLA involved… which, c’mon man, nobody wants to hear that.  Nightwing puts together a plan wherein the Titans split into teams of two… one original and one newbie.  We’ve got four teams… with the Atom assumed to have already infiltrated the place to scout around.

Ray is indeed already inside… and he observes some Haze rent-a-cops pushing around some “citizens” of the neighborhood.  I… guess we’ll just keep playing along.

Deeper inside, Haze has Omen chained up.  Looks like her “lifting the veil” earlier is exactly what he expected to happen.  He’s been using Omen to bring the Titans to him.  After he “mwah-ha-ha’s” a bit… he leaves.  The Atom then enters are tries to figure out a way to release his teammate.

He decides to grow huge and break the bindings.  In so doing, Ray also knocks Omen’s mask off revealing her to be… continued next issue!

Whew… seems like we sure dodged that pesky (and aggressively boring) Genesis Wave here, didn’t we?  I’m usually not too big on “red sky crossovers”, but I think I’ll make an exception this time around!  All we really need to know is, the Atom got his growing-powers back.  In the words of the Mad Mod, “Bully for him!”.

I feel like there might’ve been a less-confusing way to tell this chapter.  Jumping back “a couple hours” to see the Newest Teen Titans get the skinny from the Mod felt a bit, I dunno… “piecy”?  There just wasn’t much “flow” to it.  We go from Titan-on-Titan action to this chatty scene that happened “before” with character we, up to that point, hadn’t even seen in the story yet.

That opening Titan-on-Titan scene ends with Nightwing being surprised by a sudden arrival… which doesn’t pay off until after the Newest Titans return from Genesis… talk to the Mod… head to Wyoming… and fight the “Psions”.  And that sudden arrival turns out to be Omen… but, the “progression” from that first scene is kinda “lost”.  I dunno how to really write what I’m trying to say here… just didn’t dig the (lack of) flow here.

Last issue we saw some neat interpersonal chatter and conflict among the original team… and this issue, we get some of the same from the newbies.  It was appreciated, in the sense that it attempted to flesh these folks out… but, without having history, it kinda fell flat.  Rather than sound justifiably disgruntled, the Newbies came off as petulant.  And, nobody wants to root for that.

Overall, this chapter was definitely weaker than the opener.  It must’ve been 20 years since I read this… and I honestly don’t have any idea what’s to come.  Hopefully they can bring it back around!

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