perletwo: facepalm (black adam facepalm)
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- or, "Prologue to A Tale of Light and Dark," which is the Titans' next big arc, apparently. 3 whole pages and 2 partial pages for a total of 4, and man did I have a hard time cutting it down to just that. This is a bridge issue, tying up the Death of the Family crossover story and putting pieces into play for this Light and Dark thing, so there's a lot going on here.

We open with an unnamed doctor at a clinic promising a young Korean boy he can remove the boy's increasingly difficult to control light powers. He does so by stealing said powers and in the process killing the boy....

Then we move on to the Titans in civvies, in a limo driving home from Gotham in mostly awkward silence. Tim's text boxes narrate. Miguel asks how long they're going to have to keep calling him "Red Robin;" haven't they earned a little give-back in the trust department for sticking by him through the last couple of arcs? Tim apologizes, reminding them that having met some members of his "extended family," they should now appreciate that his secrets are truly not just his own. Kiran accepts this gracefully, and Tim apologizes for their getting off on the wrong foot. One speech I want to transcribe in full (this is a very talky issue FYI) because it ties in so nicely with my Original Recipe Titans post below.

"I...come from a place where it isn't easy to admit mistakes. A very rigid "father," enough "sibling rivalry" to fill two seasons and a very special Christmas episode of Dr. Phil. So earning your faith in me? Starting out as strangers and becoming friends? Let me just say that the Teen Titans have been the light at the end of a very long tunnel."

Cassie requests a return to the awkward silence, "because if we start hugging I guarantee I am going to hurl. More than once."

The limo pulls up to NYC's waterfront, where Tim explains that as their leader and the only one with a credit card, he made a command decision: welcome to their new HQ.

 photo p2_nU-teentitans-17_p08.jpg

I don't know why they're drawn looking away from it, but it's still a nice splash page.

Next we have the nickel tour, including a high-tech "war room" with beyond-cutting-edge surveillance equipment that will take the Titans to the next level; but until he works out his plans for it, Tim requests the others regard it as off-limits.

The kids settle in, but have trouble getting to sleep despite their state of exhaustion. (We also cut away briefly to the hospital bedside of Miguel's comatose brother Gabriel, whose skull flashes with light not unlike that in the first sequence; ominous much?) Tim meets up with Kiran on deck, and she apologizes for thinking harshly of him when they first met, as seeing his Gotham home has made her reevaluate. "I never should have judged you. We all find our own way in life."

Adds Tim, "And sometimes? Sometimes it takes us a while to notice that the things we want most in life..." *puts a hand on Kiran's arm* "...are only an arm's length away."

"Exactly! ...Wait, what?"

That would be this:

 photo p2_nU-teentitans-17_p15.jpg

Cut to a brief interlude where a random teen massacres a crowded coffee shop with light powers simply for annoying him.

Back at the ranch, Cassie comes into Tim's room for a little heart-to-heart and to thank him for helping her with Diesel. I do wish I had room to post this entire page, because there are some interesting things going on with the layout here (and on a few other pages).

 photo p2_nU-teentitans-17_p17.jpg

Woah. Busy night for Timmy!

 photo p2_nU-teentitans-17_p18.jpg

I wanted to post this page for two reasons. One, this artwork makes me feel marginally better about this dreadful Raven redesign; in this Gothy splash, it almost looks decent. Two, the way the text boxes at the top segue suggests to me that Raven is at least observing the Titans, and it made me wonder if Tim's sudden interest in the sexytimes might be due not to the Joker's influence, as the solicit suggested, but to Raven's empathic powers?

Double splash page of Raven talking with the ghoul she's addressing above; Trigon wants her to join him as the troops are ready to invade Earth. "May all the Gods of Light and Dark hear my prayer - and grant us the strength to accomplish the impossible task before us...and that finally - fatefully - justice will prevail through the coming storm!" I give you this speech of Raven's because frankly, I'm not sure how to interpret it and thought I'd open it to discussion. Does it suggest she's fully on board with Trigon, or hint that maybe she's not so much his creature as he thinks?

We close with an external view of the ship, surrounded by broadcast bubbles: radio reports of the coffee shop incident, and snippets of a phone conversation setting up a drug buy, being spied upon by...

 photo p2_nU-teentitans-17_p20.jpg


Again, I'm of two minds here; the red eyes suggest Trigon/Raven, but the grin is of course pure Joker.

Can't swear to it, but I think I may be looking forward to the War of Light and Dark thing.
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