Quick note on the One Year Later tag line - DC just did their big Infinite Crisis crossover, and all the titles in the main DC universe skipped a year of continuity. They're all tagged with a OYL! thing on the cover, and this is where I'm going to start my discussion of the Teen Titans book. (Teen Titans issue #34, to be precise)
A year has happened since the Crisis, since [spoiler]Superboy[/spoiler] died, since all sorts of crazy things. One of the things that has stayed the same is Robin's leadership of the Titans.
TITANS PROFILE: ROBIN!
What you already know: He's Batman's third sidekick. He's the leader of the Titans. He wears tights, but not those sissy elf boots the original one did. Also, this isn't the one the Joker killed but who ended up coming back to life because Superboy Prime punched reality trying to escape a makeshift heaven created by Alexander Luthor after the destruction of the multiverse during the conclusion to Crisis on Infinite Earths. That whole last sentence is true, by the way.
What's new: No more green in the costume, apparently. All red, black and yellow. Also, he recruited a whole new team of Titans in the aftermath of the Crisis because all of his old friends are either dead, gone, or rebooting their computer systems. Who are these new Titans. you may ask? Well just wait a minute, because there's something else about Robin what's new. He's gone crazy - super crazy go nuts. Just check out the last scene. I'm not spoiling that moment of mad scientist.
Now, onto the New New Teen Titans!
(in order of getting their ass handed to them by Cyborg)
Ravager - Deathstroke the Terminator (better known on Cartoon Network as Slade)'s daughter. She tried to help him take out the Titans, but realized that maybe he was expecting too much out of her when he injected her with an experimental serum type thing that made her go crazy and claw out one of her own eyes. She is currently in the Titans to hide/be protected from her dad. Super-powers include kick ass fighting ability and a really sharp sword.
Why Cyborg kicked her ass - She was an enemy of the Titans while Cy was still up and moving, and he didn't get the memo on her conversion to the good guys' team.
Kid Devil - What can I say about Kid Devil? He's Blue Devil's sidekick, and somehow in the past year has gone from a devil power armor costume to actual devil like appearance. He actually reminds me a lot of Ultimate Nightcrawler, and the similarities keep coming. He's got a brimstone-hot mouth (Ravager lights a cigarette with it at one point) and a prehensile tail. Like 616 Nightcrawler, he seems to be pretty religious (lots of talk of sinners and the like, but more light-hearted than Jonathon Edwards*-type). In the two issues that have come out already, I think I like him the best of the newbies. He reads Hellblazer, for crying out loud!
Why Cyborg kicked his ass - He leapt to Ravager's defense with the awesome war cry of "We're not the bad guys - we live here!" and tried to put a choke hold on Cy.
Next up are Marvin and Wendy. Yes, that Marvin and Wendy. Apparently they fixed up Cy's systems and gave him all sorts of upgrades that allow him to kick their asses. The one thing they forgot was, of course, the emergency shutdown button.
Why Cyborg kicked their asses - They were talking about an emergency shutdown button in his general vicinity. A couple of geniuses? Sure. Really dumb idea? Yes.
Finally, Robin shows up and doesn't get his ass kicked by Cyborg. He explains where all the old Titans are, and why he's got these new guys. We also learn Wonder Girl has gone on as a solo act to try and bring down all sorts of criminals. The issue ends with a tentative team up and a fierce punch to the face - Wonder Girl Wins.
Then comes the crazy Robin scene I'm not going to spoil. He's gone nutso!
Overall, I'm really digging this restart. There's some interesting new characters, and there's a really cool tension set up between the new and the old members, particularly Cyborg and Ravager/Kid Devil. I think it's really funny how KD has to call and check in with Blue Devil four times a day to make sure he's okay and that he's being treated alright.
This is definitely not a happy sappy team up book. The characters each have opinions of the others, each have their own strengths and insecurities, and each brings something unique to the table. It'll be really interesting to see where this goes.
I'll do #35 (already out on shelves) sometime later this week. Until then - discuss! If you've read it, weigh in. If you haven't, ask questions. Or go buy it, then read it, then weigh in!
*Yes, I did just make a Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God allusion. I'm a college graduate now - expect it!