Teen Titans #14 “Aftermath”
Written by Scott Lobdell and Will Pfeifer
Pencils by Noel Rodriguez
Colors by Tony Avina
We’re doing a little catching up at the moment, so I’m covering Teen Titans #14 & 15 for now. I’m honestly not in the mood to waste time, so let’s get to it… This book is terrible. I’m not exaggerating. It’s really bad. There’s honestly not anything redeeming about it. I blame Scott Lobdell. I know he wrote Age of Apocalypse for that other comics company, and I get that it’s viewed as a classic, but his work the past few years has sucked… bad. And you want to know what makes it worse? He isn’t the only reason this book is bad. The art is just as terrible! Thanks Noel Rodriguez!
Blame is being thrown all over the place right now! Mister Editor… (checks to see who the group editor is of this book)… Eddie Berganza! Yeah, you too buddy! I’m looking at you, and I’m going to yell, “SHAME!” Shame on you for pushing such trite out. If it’s because you’ve given up on your writer (which I have too), then you should probably just get a new writer…. I mean, I get that that’s what you did when Lobdell took over for Pfeifer, but Lobdell is the equivalent of a swan song… except his sounds atrocious. Instead of letting this book flounder around until it dies (as DC did the last time Lobdell had it), just kill it.
Ok, let’s shift from the madman ranting, and actually focus on the book – which will still consist of madman ranting, but it will be directed more towards the actual work itself. This issue continues the momentum of Lobdell essentially undoing everything Pfeifer was building, and shifting the story back to focus on his failed story: Harvest. Superboy murdered people. At first, it was (thought to be) a glamour that Superboy had imagined, and he was being set-up. Turns out, Connor admits that he actually is a murderer (the narrative has flip-flopped more than a politician in the spotlight at this point), and Harvest has taken him. To help prove his innocence, the Titans plan to break into the M.A.W., a high security prison that holds the “baddest of the bad.” When they do so, they’re confronted, and eventually caught inside the prison… which leads us to this… the “Aftermath.” There won’t be any breakdowns because it’s all bad.
Cops have the Titans in custody, and the media/ public are suddenly opposed to the team as a result to what’s going on in Gotham with the Robins. One of the journalists asks Red Robin why the team broke into the M.A.W., to which Tim provides a smug, attitude driven response. And this leads me to my first issue: Tim’s characterization. Tim basically tells the reporter to “f” off, stating that he doesn’t care if people think the Teen Titans are heroes or villains, and that their reason for breaking into the prison was none of their business. I know Tim has gotten the butt end of the deal since the launch of the New 52, but Lobdell continues to mistreat him. I had come to terms with this a while ago, but then recently picked up some old issues of Robin, and now it irks me again. What happened to the kind kid who was eager to do good, and serve a just cause? And who is this imposter that is overly arrogant and rude? I miss the real Tim. I’m actually cool if you want to make him a little arrogant. He can ride the line of the situation where even he’s torn in the idea of, “If I think I can figure something out, is that confidence, or arrogance?” I like that Tim. That’s a deep, thoughtful Tim. Flawed? Yes, but at least he’d be a little more respectful – which is honestly how must of us imagine him.
Anyway, while the team is getting transported to prison (this makes NO SENSE to me since they were JUST OUTSIDE a prison for metahumans), their detail is attacked by this guy:
Who is that? Doomsday. No, not that Doomsday, a different Doomsday… but he is connected to the original Doomsday. Apparently some kid contracted a virus from Doomsday, and now he is “Doomsday.” Or a version of Doomsday… I honestly don’t know. I really just want to ask, “Why?” That’s a broad “why” for anyone who is wondering. Why create this character? Why couldn’t you have called him something other than Doomsday? Why is he red? Why is Lobdell throwing him into this book? Oh wait… that’s right… it’s because he was writing Doomsday and it failed, and he’s incapable of letting anything die. Anyway, it’s a terrible character.
Doomsday manages to free the Titans – not to help them, but because he’s looking for Wonder Girl, whom he has a crush on – which leads to a brawl between the Teen Titans and the Pax Galactica, led by Alpha Centurion. So… you know how I just whined about the characterization of Tim, and the general character of Doomsday? Yeah, well Alpha Centurion is worse. The dialogue that comes from this guy makes the experience of reading Etrigan’s dialogue feel like a walk in the park. Every time the Alpha Centurion was featured, I just wanted someone to punch him. Hard.
If comic books were audible, and you told me I’d have to listen to Alpha Centurion’s dialogue for a week, I’d walk into on-coming traffic on the 101 Freeway. The rest of the book continues to be a mess as it transitions rather roughly into Robin War. Oh, there’s also a cop getting a total boner (am I allowed to say that?) because he was on TV arresting Red Robin. It’s a little funny, but mostly irritating, because I could 100% screams Lobdell (Seriously, watch videos of the guy at Comic Con).
The Art: If you like flat faces with two opposing slashes for eyes, and a slash for a mouth, then you’ll probably like Rodriguez’s art.
Also, if you like bodies that lack proportion, and are inconsistent from panel to panel, then you’ll probably like Rodriguez’s art.
If you see a decently drawn character every couple of pages, but the rest of the character looks like crap, then you’ll probably like Rodriguez’s art…
Alright, I’m done trashing this book. You get the point. I probably should’ve taken a walk before writing this. I did end up sleeping on it, but that didn’t change anything…
- You want to waste money and twenty minutes of your life.
- You’d heard about this new Doomsday character, and were curious to see what he was all about.
- You enjoy reading nonsense.
Overall: Teen Titans “Aftermath” is one bad play after another. Lobdell continues his trademark of sending books to their grave, and this is no different. At this point, I feel like DC needs to drop Teen Titans, run with Titans Hunt, and let Teen Titans lay low for a good while.