By: Rennie Cowan
Teen Titans #5 explodes into action, with fireworks ablaze. N.O.W.H.E.R.E.’s secret weapon, the Superboy, is on scene and his primary objective is to bring in Wonder Girl. At this point, Superboy is still doing the bidding of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and the fight is five against one. We remember from previous issues that N.O.W.H.E.R.E. wants Metahuman teens off of the streets…and for good. By page one, we get a narrative through the eyes of Red Robin, then Kid Flash, then Red Robin again which moves fast and is quite entertaining. Later, we do get a rather poignant narrative from the secret weapon himself. Brett Booth brings in the kind of artwork that is fitting of Teen Titans and Solstice is the most visually stimulating plus interesting character in design and look. In fact, her new look is probably the most exciting element of this entire Teen Titans reboot. In the previous series, Solstice was very human and now she is something of an enigma; a science fiction character with more depth and mystery. Her body is full of bright energy and it is elusive. Only one complaint, how could DC let a spelling error get published on page one? Ouch. Bad DC, bad…. They spelled Solstice’s name “Soltice”. Other than that obvious minor distraction, the book in itself was another fun-filled and action-packed Teen Titan’s issue.
So Superboy, clad in his Tron-like outfit, is on the hunt for Metahumans. Red Robin believes speed is the trick to stop Superboy. But he gets in a lot of hits (I’m thinking this would be a good scene in a video game) but not even hundreds of superfast hits can hinder the Boy of Steel. The action doesn’t take away from the story which is a thumps up to Lobdell. Everything works so well and the story even takes a turn by this issue’s end, finally getting us somewhere. Superboy explains his power is psionic so this to him makes him superior. Solstice realizes that Kid Flash may have underestimated Superboy – their encounter may be their last. Bunker moves in for an opposition like the rest. His powers appear to mimic the Green Lantern, to some extent; he can make his fists bigger and stronger. Indeed, he packs a powerful big-sized punch like Green Lantern but Superboy is obviously indestructible. Superboy is amused that Wonder Girl has Metahuman friends and yet mocks Bunker, stating, “Honestly, I’m not sure why N.O.W.H.E.R.E. considers any of you a threat.” Point one. Red Robin has a good retort however, “Just following orders is your excuse?” Point one for the other side.
The opposition doesn’t stop there. When Mr. Templar is asked to provide backup for Superboy he is defiant because to him, Superboy is the ultimate weapon so how could he fail? Superboy is like his pet Pit bull and all adversaries are minute steaks. Templar loves what the vicious animal can do, if trained to do so, but he is unreasonable when it comes to how long and to what extent it can be the snapper. Red Robin gets Superboy down by the power of his battle suit and now, Superboy has a bloodied face. He tries to reason with Red Robin, outwitting him perhaps and distracts him with the thought that he would let him go because Red Robin is not a Metahuman. This short distraction is just long enough for Superboy to use his psionic powers to fire relays in Red Robin’s battle suit. The battle continues. In comes Wonder Girl with a lasso straight from the Gods. She tosses it around Superboy but Superboy only mocks her, proving that there is nothing that can stop him. Lobdell enforces the idea that Superboy isn’t necessarily evil, for he is not without pity or remorse. The ultimate weapon of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. has feelings and he actually feels bad for the teens he is slaughtering. He believes at one time or another they could have been friends, if only things were different. It must be a lonely life being Superboy. Maybe he just wants to be their friend. This sets us up for what is to come of our friend Superboy. Is he a friend or foe? Maybe not, because sooner or later he just might realize the truth.
Superboy is getting closer and closer to the truth, if there is one. At this point, the reader isn’t quite sure and neither is Superboy. But this is something the general reader has not been keen on through the entire reboot. Solstice is the one with all the wisdom, we hope, and if Superboy listens to her this just might be the beginning of a new Superhero team: The Teen Titans. Until then, Superboy is done with the array of confusion. He flies to Templar’s nearby beacon, picks up the shed with Templar and his electronic nerds huddled inside he tosses it into the nearby waters. Are they lies or half-truths? Superboy needs to know the truth. Maybe a bit of water will help the situation. Lobdell has been building up to this point and Superboy isn’t all that bad. The storyline in Teen Titans #5 skews into a different direction and a new beginning.
The lies and half-truths might come to surface so stay tuned for Teen Titans #6. But this issue is action-packed and it actually gets us somewhere and not nowhere (pardon the pun).