Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The New Teen Titans #4 - Feb. 1981

The New Teen Titans face off against...The Justice League of America?!?
The Story: "Against All Friends!" by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, and Romeo Tanghal.

This issue opens 22,300 miles in geosynchronous orbit above Metropolis, where some members of the Justice League of America are gearing up for trouble:

Three magical beings see the JLA approach, and fire a series of blasts at them, knocking them off their feet (metaphorically) for the moment. Some sort of gag appears over Zatanna's mouth, preventing her from casting a spell. Green Lantern attempts a direct assault, but a voice yells out, telling him to stop!

It's the voice of Raven, demanding that the JLA let the sorcerers perform their ritual. Green Lantern refuses, and tries to cage Raven, but she escapes. The three sorcerers expel even more energy, knocking the JLA out. Raven then disappears, transporting to another faraway, fantastical world. Waiting for her in one of the grand palaces is Raven's mother, who admonishes her daughter for coming here.

Raven's mother tells her she can do nothing to save the Earth, and with a touch sends Raven home, where she awakes:

Raven seems to remember a battle involving The Fearsome Five that none of her teammates can recall, which distresses her. We then see that this is all being watched by the FF, who are, as usual, squabbling among themselves. We learn this is a plot to destroy the JLA and the Titans--by pitting them against each other!

Raven learns that due to the inadvertent efforts of the JLA, the demi-god Trigon will be able to build a bridge to Earth. So Robin declares that the JLA must be stopped--any any cost!

Back at the satellite, the members of the JLA know nothing of any of this, so they aren't quite ready when they receive unexpected visitors:


The Titans watch the JLA disintegrate, but turns out its just an illusion of Raven's, who has put them all in stasis until she can figure all this out. Eventually, the Titans wake up and the JLA rejoins them to fight the three sorcerers. In the melee Trigon is set free, and the whole dimension seems to explode:
Eventually, a bigger truth emerges: that this new team of teen heroes has been formed partly due to lies and the magical influence of Raven, who has been using her powers for what she calls a greater purpose.

The Titans are enraged, and wander off--as does the JLA, leaving Raven alone, screaming to the heavens dire warnings about Triton, who is watching all this with delight. To be continued!
Roll Call: Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Atom, Hawkman, Zatanna

Notable Moments: This story takes place between the two stories in JLA #188 (according to Mike's Amazing World, at least).

It's great seeing the JLA (or some of them, at least) drawn by George Perez, and battling some of their former sidekicks, to boot. Batman clocking Robin in the back of the head with his elbow is particularly wince-inducing...unless you've always thought the Boy Wonder deserved a rap in the head; then it's great.

Since I've made the decision to update this blog occasionally with original JLA content I want to cover, I thought taking a look at this team-up was long overdue. How I ever resisted that cover the first time around I'll never know!


John Trumbull said...

This issue was the very first place that George Perez drew the Zatanna costume that he designed -- Although the Don Heck issue where the costume made its "official" debut may have been on the stands first.

rob! said...

Ah, John, you commenting on my JLA blog--just like the good ol' days!

Thanks for the info, btw!

Russell said...

There are only two things that would have made this issue better: Aquaman and Hawkwoman. :-)

rob! said...

I second and third that!

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