23 October, 2006

Beast Boy & Raven Comic Book Watch - October 23, 2006

Weeks late this time. Sorry. Really hoping that things ease up on me and I can get these postings back on track soon. (And if you want to know what's been the hold up, read the post marked "Grumblings" below).

Teen Titans #39
Story by Geoff Johns; Pencils by Tony Daniel; Inks by Kevin Conrad.

The Titans are hunting for Raven, and come to former Titans member Zatara for help.

1) Hmmm. Zatara seems to know an awful lot about Raven.

2) Zatara tells the Titans he's not interested in helping them, and asks them to leave. But when they do... Zatara has second thoughts.

Its starting to look pretty likely that Zatara is the person who Johns said would "try to come between" Gar and Raven.

52 #21
Story by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid; Pencils by Joe Bennett, Inks by Jack Jadson; Breakdowns by Keith Giffen; Cover by J.G. Jones.

This is the first issue of 52 in which the Titans play a significant role.

1) Gar and Raven on the cover... with Zatara seemed poised to drive a wedge between them?

Gar looks a little pissed. As the issue unfolds, it turns out he has reason to be.

2) One of the Beast Boy-led Titans teams from the One Year. Get a good look at them, because this is probably all we'll ever see of one of those teams in action. *blah*

3) The Titans at the funeral for Trajectory, a member of Luthor's version of Infinity Inc., who sadly died at the hands of Blockbuster (but actually, murdered by Luthor):

Things just go from bad to worse for Gar. And behind him, Zatara is making the moves on his girl... (I don't know about anyone else, but I kind of like Raven with the pony tail look).

4) At least there's some indication that we'll be seeing more of the Titans in 52.

Justice League of America #2
Story by Brad Meltzer; Pencils by Ed Benes; Inks by Sandra Hope.

1) Awww. Red Tornado's daughter sleeps with a Beast Boy plushie.

Secret Six #4
Story by Gail Simone; Pencils by Brad Walker; Inks by Brad Palmiotti.

I've got very mixed feelings about this issue. On one hand, it was a chance for Garfield and the new Doom Patrol to appear somewhere outside of Teen Titans and perhaps get some exposure. On the other... they proved the point that the purpose of a guest star is to make the main characters look good. And in this case, the Doom Patrol show up seemingly for no other purpose than to get their butts kicked.

1) The Doom Patrol meets the Secret Six. At least Gar has one good line before things get ugly.

2) Mento goes mental. Gar tries to help.

3) The Secret Six's Mad Hatter takes over Elasti-Girl and nearly forces her to eat her adopted son. Talk about sick.

I love Gail Simone's writing. And for the most part, I've really been enjoying Secret Six. But this sequence left a very bad taste in my mouth. It's probably the last time we'll be seeing both Beast Boy and the Doom Patrol in current continuity this year - and the first part of next year isn't looking much better. The only thing Beast Boy and Doom Patrol fans will have to look forward to now are perhaps another appearance in 52 and maybe flashbacks in Teen Titans. That's it, nothing about what's happening with them "now". So this appearance is the last we're going to be seeing of them for quite some time, and they exit stage left on something of a real downer. It's not what I was hoping to see happen to any of these characters in 2006. And like I've said, from what we're hearing about the way things are shaping up for 2007, next year may very well not be much better. *sigh*

Infinite Crisis: Hardbound Edition
(Supplemental Pages): Story by Geoff Johns; Pencils by George Perez; Inks by Andy Lanning.

What, didn't we cover Infinite Crisis months ago? Well, not quite.

The collected hardbound edition of Infinite Crisis has been released, and it includes a number of pages that were added to the story in order to flesh out some scenes and better explain what was happening. And in several of these new pages, both Garfield and Raven appear.

1) In IC #5, there was a scene where a number of the heroes gather at a church. Gar and Raven are now in among the crowd.

2) And here's a surprise. Mento is also among the crowd as well, along with Elasti-Girl (in her Byrne-era uniform) and Chief.

What's surprising about this is that, until now, it was assumed that Mento's return had happened during the One Year. Now it appears to have happened before IC was even over, but probably after Teen Titans #32. Another effect of the fight with Superboy Prime from that issue?

3) The Titans come to the aid of a badly injured Nightwing.

This scene was inserted to show how Dick Grayson survived recieving a sopping chest wound.

4) At the end of Infinite Crisis #7, there was a two page spread of DCU heroes. To refresh your memories, here's what Gar and Raven looked like in that spread:

5) Well, for the IC trade edition the entire two page spread has been redone. And sadly (hopefully not ominously), the two of them have been seperated. Raven is now placed toward the top among the other mystics:

6) Gar is still more or less where he was before, but now in bird form.

A few things to mention about Gar's appearance here. First off, I don't particularly like that Gar is shown in animal form and not in uniform, but that seems to be the way he gets routinely depicted in these kind of encyclopedia-like montages. Still, there could be something to the fact that he's shown in bird form - and while I'm not an expert on birds, I do think it looks to me like he's in the form of a raven. This adds to a theory that more than a few people have suggested (but of which I have not seen any concrete proof - meaning actual quotes - on), namely that George Perez seems to actually like the idea of Gar & Raven getting together. Certainly, until this montage, he seems to have recently gone out of his way to depict them in close proximity to one another whenever he's had the chance to draw them. So perhaps there is something to that theory. I guess only time will tell.


Whew! This was a BIG update!


I think it is pretty likely that the next few months are going to be very rough for Gar/Raven supporters. For one, it looks like we're going to get some tension with Zatara. For another, TPTB at DC have seen fit to exile Beast Boy to a team with no title and now no plans for one in the foreseeable future. Certainly, the solicits for the next three months don't seem to show an appearance anywhere of either Beast Boy or the Doom Patrol, although 52 is always a distinct possibility (and indeed, there are some reports that the Titans will be showing up there once more before Christmas). So for the moment, Garfield Logan fans are left frustrated and in as much limbo as the character.

A Teen Titans: Year One mini series has been announced by DC. Its being written by Amy Wolfram, who wrote many of the best episode of the Teen Titans animated series. Hopefully this means Gar will be making an appearance in there, but if so it will probably be a very young Gar from before the Wolfman/Perez days. No word on when the series will come out, but summer '07 is a good bet.

No one seems to know when Wolfman's Raven mini series will kick off, but early 2007 is the big hope. Fans who are hoping to see Garfield in that one are going be disappointed; from Marv Wolfman's own words, no other Titans (current or former) will be appearing in that series, although they probably will get mentioned. Some people have also speculated on a Garfield appearance in the upcoming Terra mini series, but I understand the same no-Titans rule will also apply to that one as well; since that series will deal - at least directly - with a new character and not Tara Markov (any version), it seems they want to establish the character before having her encounter any of Terra I or Terra II's past associates.

Teen Titans #40 comes out on November 8th. That will probably be when the next BBRCBW update is posted. There should be images of Raven in that one, if nothing else. Beyond that, Geoff Johns has assured fans that TT #41 & #42 will ship out before the end of the year. So in theory, either November or December will be a two-issue month. BTW, Teen Titans #43 will see the start of the long-awaited Titans East story.

Keep the faith, guys. Don't lose hope. We knew we'd be seeing rough patches; we're in one now, and the only way out is through. Just remember to keep the Maalox handy, and you should be fine.


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