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Friday, January 2, 2009

Living Up to Expectations: Teen Titans #66

"The New Deal Part 1: Choices"

Written by: Sean McKeever
Art by: Eddy Barrows

I realize that I didn't pick this as one of my Anticipated Books in episode #47 but ultimately I think that it was too late for me to properly evaluate what I should or shouldn't be anticipating. So, I decided to buck tradition (we're all tradition buckers here at The ComicDorksCast offices) and pick a book that when I unpacked it from it's box I actually squealed a little bit.

Teen Titans has long been one of the titles that I think that far too many people overlook. I think that once Geoff Johns left the title that they decided that no one was going to be able to fill those loafers and jumped ship. Boy howdy were they wrong. I am just about the most dyed in the wool Geoff Johns fan as you're like to find staggering around a comic store (except for that guy with the giant Stars and Stripey collage tattooed across his girthy back [that might have been a dream even ... so take that for what you will]) and I know that what I am about to say will likely sound like sacrilege dribbling from the lips of an invalid but ... Sean McKeever is really doing a much better job with these teen heroes than Geoff ever did with them.

Take a breath.

Cool off.

Take a walk around the block if you have to.

I understand.

Seriously though, McKeever has always been the kind of writer that any publisher would want dealing with their teenaged characters. It is long established that he knows how to pen the hormone driven brains of a Tween better than almost anyone in the industry. Starting back with his creator owned tour de force The Waiting Place he has proven time and time again that if it involves characters who are as likely to freak out about zits as they are about Amazo suddenly bursting into the room. His work on titles like Inhumans, Gravity, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and others is credential enough.

Sean seems to have struggled to keep a cohesive team together through his run but ultimately that seems to make a whole lot of sense. I mean teens are flighty and are bound to commit to things that they suddenly don't have time in their schedules for the next week, so having a fluid cast seems to make a whole lot of sense. He's also made perhaps the best duo of characters to grace the pages of a team book since the Giffen Matteis run on JLI. That's right, the Blue and Gold might be gone for now, and perhaps forever, but long reign The Blue and Red. Red Devil and Blue Beetle have the perfect mix of friendship and competition that makes every great pair of contemporary superheroes work. Think about it, Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen, Bruce Banner and Clark Kent, Michael "Booster" Carter and Ted Kord.

Issue 66 picks up after the Titans have finally faced off against Lycus, the son of Ares and the teens are back at the Tower trying to figure out the best way to bolster their numbers. The recent fights have been a little too close for comfort considering that their numbers are quite reduced with Supergirl wrapped up with Kandor, M'gann trying to adapt to having a civilian identity, and Rose leaving in a huff after the encounter with the Clock King (read Terror Titans for more info on that ... also a great title ... ALSO WRITTEN BY McKEEVER!). So it's time for a member drive.

Really and truly, if you haven't been reading this title I think you are missing out on something special and this issue is a great jumping on point and I think that anyone with an extra $3 this week would do themselves an immeasureable favor if they picked up Teen Titans #66 ... I'm sure they won't forget it.

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