Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Comic Review -- Teen Titans #7: Assault on Project 13 / Scott Lobdell, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund

*Sigh*, that damn banner again.  I'll get over it at some point, I swear, but for now, I can't help but sigh in exasperation whenever I see it.  Overall, not a bad cover, though not great, either.  I suppose it's a little confusing.  Superboy looks pained and things look tense with the others moving about, but without knowing who Centerhall is up to this point though, I don't care enough for him to want him on the cover.  Everyone else is barely a blip on the cover, and not that well drawn as you get further back.

In this issue, the Titans learn about Superboy's current fate at the hands of N.O.W.H.E.R.E., and rush off to save him.  Well, more like get dragged off to save him, as Red Robin manages to guilt them into going after they rightly point out that Superboy recently almost killed them all.  We also learn of the existence of Danny the Street, who also apparently escaped from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. with Kid Flash, and who has been working for Red Robin for some time.  It appears he was the one responsible for bringing Kid Flash and Solstice to Red Robin's place a few issues ago.

While the bulk of the team engages N.O.W.H.E.R.E.'s forces, Red Robin is caught by Solstice in the records room of the complex, downloading data on the kids N.O.W.H.E.R.E. has been kidnapping.  When pressed, he tells her he's been building a case against them for a long time, to which she reacts with outrage, claiming that he should have been helping kids like her a long time ago, not waiting for evidence.  While it's never made explicit, the story implies that Red Robin incapacitates her and tries to abandon her at N.O.W.H.E.R.E. by telling the team to leave now.  They won't leave without her though, and they are surprised and overtaken by Harvest, who reveals himself as the man who created N.O.W.H.E.R.E.

I have to admit, at this point I'm starting to get twitchy and want this story to wrap up conclusively.  It's not that it was bad or uninteresting, but it does feel like this arc is starting to drag a bit in places.  Can we please get everyone on the same page?  Can we get a strong idea of the Titans' lineup, headquarters, and so on?  We seem to be so locked in startup mode, and dealing with so many twists and turns in the narrative, that by now I'm starting to feel more than a little weary.

While I can easily see Red Robin having a hidden agenda for the raid on N.O.W.H.E.R.E., I'm having real issues with his implied behavior towards Solstice.  Sure, I think she was overreacting and not seeing the bigger picture, but to suggest he would physically attack her, knock her out, and then leave her where she was last imprisoned... I don't know.  I know Tim has trust issues he needs to overcome, but this seems a touch extreme for the boy who is trying to keep all the superpowered teens together and free from persecution.  I'm eager to see how this is addressed, but it better be damn good, as this issue left a bad taste in my mouth where this part of the story is concerned.

Superboy and Kid Flash have a few amusing exchanges of dialog, as they insult one another during the rescue.  I keep imagining Superboy as sounding like Brandon Routh, and I think more and more I'm hearing Kid Flash as a quick-talking Michael Cera, so it really works on the humor level for me.  I thought their banter in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was pretty funny.

Artistically, things look as great as ever.  The addition of the NOWHERE villains finally give Brett Booth some more people to draw, even if they aren't developed very well.  Zaniel Templar looks both horrifying and creepy in Wonder Girl's gratuitous and brief solo fight scene with him, and Harvest looks pretty terrifying as well.  I'll be interested to see what he can do next issue.

Overall, while this still makes for an enjoyably continuation of the story, it needs to wrap up soon.  By pushing and extending the arc further and further with more twists and revelations, it's starting to feel less interesting and more exhausting.  I'm willing to keep along for a couple more issues, but unless things get more compelling and less tortuous, I may bow out.  It's a good story, Scott.  It just needs to resolve itself properly.  Recommended.

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