Outsiders (vol.2) #17 (April, 1995)
“Sibling Rivalry: The Truth About Terra!”
Writer – Mike W. Barr
Penciller – Paul Pelletier
Inks – Robert Campanella
Letters – Kevin Cunningham
Colors – Gene D’Angelo
Associate Editor – Eddie Berganza
Editor – Kevin Dooley
Cover Price: $1.95
Today we’re going to take a look at, what I usually refer to as the “forgotten” volume of Outsiders. I mean, even to this day… I sometimes forget that it even happened! Anytime I come across an issue in the bins (which is, admittedly, pretty often) I’m surprised that it exists. Not sure what it is about it…
Also… we’re finally going to solve the riddle that is Terra… the other Terra, that is. I mean, this issue is called “The Truth About Terra!”, they wouldn’t be lying to us… would they?!
We open with Geo-Force being forcibly ejected from the Titans’ base. He’s come to speak with Terra… the other Terra… the one who looks a whole heckuva lot like his half-sister, but isn’t really… and, the Titans, for whatever reason, don’t much like the idea. He finds himself faced with both Arsenal and Green Lantern… and a fight is on.
Roy hangs out on the ground while Kyle and Brion scuffle in the sky. What starts as a scrape turns into a full-on game of “chicken”. Kyle and Brion soar directly for one another… however, at the very last moment…
… Darkstar, Donna Troy breaks up the melee. We get a pretty cute scene of Donna scolding the fellas as though they were children… which leads to a bit of finger-pointing. I’m going to mention this in our “review” portion… but, man alive… I love this art!
Back inside, Donna checks in with Terra… and asks if she’d be down with meeting her “brother”. She’s nervous that Brion won’t actually listen to her… he won’t see that she’s not who he thinks she is… not really, anyway. She ultimately comes around, and Brion is allowed in to see her. Clearly nervous, he begins rambling on and on… you’d almost think he writes this blog! Anyhoo, Terra tells him to shut uppa his face so she can explain things.
She more or less tells him to calm his transference. She ain’t that Tara… she ain’t his half-sister. She goes on to say she’s not sure who she is at all… which doesn’t tell us a whole bunch. I feel like we might be using the title “The Truth About Terra!” a bit willy nilly here.
Brion tells her that he understands… but I ain’t buyin’ that for a second. Before they can continue, however, there is a rumbling, and Titans HQ is filled with gas! Brion is able to use his powers to cause the gas to settle to the floor, as to not asphyxiate anybody present. Then… giant mechs burst through the wall!
It’s made clear from the get-go that they’re here to nab Terra… which, I suppose is convenient for this story, ain’t it? Anyhoo… the mech does in fact manage to grab her… and takes off, leaving Brion behind with a trio of angry and suspicious Titans.
Ya see, these mechs were of Markovian tech… and the Titans think Geo-Force might’ve had something to do with their arrival. Stands to reason, right? Like I said, it is pretty convenient. Brion is steadfast in his innocence, and even goes to contact the rest of the Outsiders to assist in the rescue. Speedy fires an arrow into Geo-Force’s communicator (and also, his wrist?!) because the last thing they need is more “muscle” they can’t trust.
On the very next page… we (and the heroes) find Terra. Wow… that was a lot of build up, wasn’t it? Turns out, she was nabbed by Dr. Simone Kneidle… a Markovian scientist.
While the trio of Titans fight off more Markovian mechs, Geo-Force gets down to the nitty-gritty with the Doc. Her plan is to analyze Terra’s abilities in hopes of duplicating them. Ya see, Markovia isn’t as secure a country as it had been in the past. When Brion inquires as to why they resorted to kidnapping instead of simply asking… Kneidle kinda rolls her eyes… Terra only received her powers by the grace of Markovian technology anyway.
At this point, Terra wakes up… and she ain’t happy. She snags the Doc in a rock-trap… and begins to squeeze. Brion tells her to let go before she allows herself to become just like the old Terra… and after a moments hesitation, she does.
Terra tells Doc Kneidle to bug off… after all, Markovia ain’t her country. Brion apologizes for the hassle and ensures Tara that she’s a better person than her namesake would suggest. Even though she’s not his half-sister, she’s still someone he’d like to get to know better. Terra agrees.
Geo-Force heads out, but not before stopping at the old Titans’ graveyard so he can pay his respects to his actual half-sister… and by “pay respects” I mean, say how much closer he feels to his fake half-sister. Classy move, dude.
We wrap up by switching scenes entirely. We catch up with Outsiders (Sebastian) Faust and (a brunette) Halo outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. They talk a bit about the upcoming Batman movie… without calling it a Batman movie, natch.
Then… they’re attacked by Felix Faust! He strikes, informing his son that old debts have come do. He then apparently vaporizes him! Oh, and he also messes up Gaby pretty good too!
Whew, so glad we got to the bottom of the Terra mess.
Yeah, notsomuch, huh? We know, basically just as much as we did after reading Team Titans #6 (which came out two years earlier). This Terra ain’t that Terra… and the world she comes from no longer exists. I mean… that’s all we really knew… and it’s all we really know now.
If you’re a regular reader to the blog, you’ll remember that, not too long ago, we talked a bit about the concept of transference. Then, it was about some of my own expectations regarding Ted Kord (and his ability to make me laugh)… today, we have it coming from Geo-Force.
Even after this encounter (and messy event), Geo-Force still wants to get to know this Terra better. Even though she’s little more than a perfect stranger to him… he still can’t let it go. I mean, it’s only natural to be drawn to people we find familiar… I suppose that’s why concepts like transference are so universal.
I do wish we had a little less action here… and more awkward “getting to know you” type chatter from the Markovs… though, it must be said… any opportunity to see Paul Pelletier draw action scenes is one I’m going to take. This fella… I mean, wow. He’s definitely in my Top-5 of comics artists (probably even Top-3)!
There’s a “freshness” about his work. It stands out from other DC art at the time… it has some of the (good) trappings of Image Comics art, without all of the crazy line-work and bad anatomy. And the faces? Oh man! Excellent, excellent faces! Just really, one of (to me) the best artists in comics. Can’t say enough good about Paul Pelletier.
Overall… if you’re reading this to get the skinny on “Terra-Two”, well… you’re probably going to be a bit let down. If you’re just looking for a fun superhero romp, however, I think you’ll dig this! This hasn’t been collected… nor been made available digitally. Seems maybe this is the forgotten volume of Outsiders after all! Shouldn’t be hard to find… and almost certainly won’t break the bank (or even a buck!).
Letters Page (including a review of the first year of the volume!):