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Teen Titans: Deathtrap

DC

Written by Sean McKeever and Marv Wolfman; Art by Fernando Dagnino, Joe Bennett, Rick Leonardi; Cover by Andrew Robinson

Jan 12, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


This lame crossover trade paperback collects the Deathtrap storyline, and includes Teen Titans Annual 2009, Titans #12-13, Teen Titans #70 and Vigilante #5-6. Writers Sean McKeever (Gravity, Sentinel, Terror Titans) and Marv Wolfman (Blade, The Tomb of Dracula) do little to rectify the creative funk this once-thriving second-tier series is in at the moment. The story revolves around a traitor amongst the Teen Titans and Titans teams. It all starts in the hopeful prelude of the miniseries within the pages of Teen Titans Annual 2009. Titans Tower has mysteriously come to life to attack the Teen Titans and Cyborg’s mind is possessed by a mysterious assassin. Vigilante takes it upon himself to hunt down the recreant.

Spoiler: The primary villain is Jericho. This won’t be a huge surprise though since that narrative element is known quite clearly from the outset. Jericho is a poor choice for an adversary for the Titans mainly because his primary motivation is to prove he’s better than his father. He’s a petulant, whiny loser. Speaking of “whiny losers,” Beast Boy used to be one of my favorite characters but his pouty rants about his unrequited love for Raven are downright ridiculous here.

It also doesn’t help that Robin/Tim Drake isn’t involved with this team anymore. Since his departure, his classic compatriots have been in a constant state of flux. Continuity is one thing but characterization took a backseat for Teen Titans around the time relauncher Geoff Johns left the series (issue #45 to be exact). For a prime example, look at the revolving door of writers and artists within this miniseries alone. DC tries its best to link the variegated art department together but Deathtrap still ends up being a sloppy hodgepodge of pencillers, colorists, and inkers. The lettering is pretty nice in an unassuming way—faint praise for a series full of lowered expectations.

The linework provided by pencillers Fernando Dagnino (Supergirl, Superman) and Joe Bennett (Birds of Prey, Hawkman, Terror Titans) are the shining beacons here. Their renderings of character’s facial expressions are the best out of this lineup, but they can also jump into the fray with a taut series of action panels. Their teens actually look like titans, whereas the drawings of Rick Leonardi (Batgirl, Nightwing, The Uncanny X-Men) and Tom Lyle (The Comet, Robin, Starman [vol. 1]) are unimpressive and blocky.

Good or bad, all of the iterations come a little too close to androgyny for this reader though. The Teen Titans have always been slightly nubile adolescents, but this is pushing it. Bennett is now the primary artist for the series and he deserves it. Fans of Teen Titans also don’t deserve such a skimpy revenge plot. In Deathtrap Part 3 (Teen Titans #70) the T-Twing crash-lands in midtown Manhattan, but McKeever and Wolfman already drove their characters into the ground many issues ago. Sadly, the Titans maybe need another reboot. (www.dccomics.com)

Author rating: 3/10

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Average reader rating: 2/10



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Nausicrate
January 10th 2011
2:03pm

DC tries its best to link the variegated art department together but Deathtrap still ends up being a sloppy hodgepodge of pencillers, colorists, and inkers. The lettering is pretty nice in an unassuming way—faint praise for a series full of lowered expectations.”Rolex Prices

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