Saturday, September 5, 2015

New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #20

As I mentioned previously Dick and Donna got into a nasty fight. He stormed off and Donna decided to get a team of Titans together. Unfortunately everyone but the rookie of the team are all dealing with personal problems that throws them off their game. This is the atmosphere Jason Todd enters on his first mission with the Titans. I'm surprised more people don't talk about this issue especially the fact Jason learns something about Roy before Dick does.


First off this is Post-Crisis Jason because the Crisis does affect the plot as three of Donnas' recruits are still suffering from the fallout. Aqualad is grieving the loss of his love Tula. Wally West has taken up the mantle of the Flash and is constantly questioning himself. And Hawk has lost his brother Don a.k.a. Dove which leads to him acting like a psycho.

I've never liked Hawk since he's an asshole 95% of the time I see him appear and most of those appearances has him acting like a foaming at the mouth killer. It's kind of comedic to see him drawn awkwardly with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other. Almost as if they weren't sure it was clear that he's unhinged in the writing or that we'd take him seriously when he says he'll kill. I'm not sure if I can blame the writing since this is usually how I see Hawk written but it's pretty over the top. It's like an extreme stereotype of an anti-hero without the big guns. His teammates aren't thrilled with this and this behavior is part of the reason Donna finally snaps under the pressure.

I wish I could say something about Garth/Aqualad but he's just sort of there. He has the least amount of presence of the bunch although this makes sense since he's grieving. Wallys'  habit of doubting his ability to live up to the Flash legacy leads to him being taken out. I'll get to Roy and Jason in a bit because it's important to get an idea of what's going on with Donna. She's seriously stressed out trying to juggle the responsibilities of being a wife (at 19/20) and keeping together the Titans. Dick has always been her rock but he bailed after their fight. Now she has this team comprised of a doubting speedster, a depressed Aqualad, a muderous Hawk, a distracted archer and a rookie.

Donnas' stressed out to such a level that she instinctly falls back into a habit of seeking reassurance. She constantly asks Robin what his opinion is. At first Jasons' stunned but goes along with it although Donna almost takes out the Twin Towers while doing this. No seriously, she almost crashes the plane while she's distracted by her conversation with Jason. Much later after an explosion and Chershire take out most of the team Hawk wants to kill some "Commies". Finally at her breaking point Donna beats the crap out of Hawk nearly killing him in her rage when Jason stops her. At her wits end Donna tells Robin it's his team so he can take it from here. Yep, she's treating him like a surrogate Dick.

The panels of Jason looking at all his unconscious and more experienced teammates really conveys his overwhelming sense of panic. Jason catches up to Donna and points out he's not Dick Grayson--who's an adult--he's a kid that she keeps projecting onto. He gets through to her and Donna realizes her mistakes.

Throughout this Roy has been a little out of it and Jason deduces something is wrong. Eventually it's revealed that Roys' bothered because their confronting Cheshire. Jasons' the only one present wi H the two when she drops the bombshell of her having Roys' baby. That's right, Dick doesn't find out for awhile.

Jason tried to take on Cheshire a couple times although the big kids pull him back for most of it. There's never a vibe of Jason rushing in or being reckless like later writers would claim about Jasons' character. He just wants to help and the fact the other Titans are looking out for him is oddly sweet. This issue was pointed out by fans that expected to see the interaction between Jason and Donna brought up in Countdown only to be bitterly disappointed. Roys' connection with Jason started here.  It was another relationship fans wanted to be explored because of this issue and their problems with their mentors. Although Jason comes back to the Titans he doesn't really have any moments with Roy pre-Flashpoint besides them standing next to each other in Outsiders.

Really Jason comes across very thoughtful and is excited to help out. He has good things to say about Batman and speaks up for himself to snap Donna out of her funk. If I had to guess I'd say Worfman was one of the creators that wanted to use Jason, it really feels like he wanted to use him and like Collins wasn't writing a  stereotypical street kid. Not a surprise really since it's thanks to Jason that Worfman was allowed to make Dick Grayson leave behind the Robin ID to become Nightwing. Next issue has the fight against Cheshire who's pissed that Roy lied to her and left her with child.

Did You Notice?: It's obviously not intentional but the panel of Wally talking about Hawk. He says he's capable of murder and guess who else is in the panel with Wally?


  1. I have to admit that does sound like an excellent story, that kind of tesion brought by the characters treating Jason as a Dick stand-in (but ultimately defining Jason as his own character) is the kind of stuff it should've been on Batman Eternal (not surprising both Tynion and Snyder seem to just crib old stories to do their thing)

    Regardless is interesting to see Jason and Roy interact for the first time, even taking into account the changes they've had over the years an reboots, it seems to me their dynamic hasn't changed a lot.

    Knowing that Wolfman treated Jason with respect makes feel even more bitter at that recent article by CBR claiming that by the time of DITF, editorial had decided that Jason's time as Robin was over and was just thinking if he would leave the book walking or in a bodybag.

  2. Worfman showed it was Donnas' fault (though not on purpose) for acting like Jason was Dick. Other writers prior to the relaunch tended to act like that was Jasons' fault for being sensitive or have the other characters not caring. It's handled so much better here.

    Seeing Jason and Roy hang out was one of the best parts. Especially since Jason is easily able to deduce the fact Roys' hiding something.

    There's a lot of bias where Jasons' concerned and much like Stephanies' later treatment it has a very negative vibe of classism. He wasn't a bad Robin people just acted like he was after his death.