Teen Titans Go! Volume 4: Ready for Action Review

514903._SX1280_QL80_TTD_
Time for a Teen Titans Go collection! Of course, I’m not talking about the current flash animated show, but the original Teen Titans Go adventures. It’s basically the classic TV show team with the original designs so you can’t go wrong there. The art can be a little sketchy at times, but it’s definitely a pretty fun collection. We get quite a few stories and always some action around. As always, Robin also manages to steal the show.

The first comic deals with a bunch of zombies attacking. They seem to attack every place where a musician takes the stage so that seems awfully suspicious. The Titans head over there while Raven goes to fight the mastermind directly. He seems to have manipulation over the shadows so he is someone that you definitely have to be careful with. Of course, Raven has a lot of experience in this field herself so she’s certainly not worried. A pretty good start to the collection. It may not have had a lot of action, but I liked the mastermind who was in the shadows. Raven taking care of him with minimal difficulty definitely makes sense since there is no way this guy should pose much of a threat to her. Raven is simply on another level when it comes to powers from the shadows.

The next comic had Raven fall inside the video game world when Atlas made his big return. Cyborg has apparently been hiding from him for a while, but you can’t escape Wifi and lag switches. A lot of technical glitches occur which is why people keep falling into the game. Can the Titans clear the game and get out or will a cop out occur? Unfortunately it’s the latter, but it’s still a fun issue. The original Atlas episode is actually one of the most underrated ones in the series if you ask me and I thought it was pretty good. I would have liked for Atlas to have actually fought here. So it’s not as good as the first story, but still solid.

Next up is the Beast Boy adventure. He gets turned into a Godzilla homage so the Teen Titans have to team up with the East branch to bring him down. They take out the Voltron robot that Cyborg had been saving and manage to really knock the fight out of Beast Boy. Who doesn’t like a giant monster comic right? I prefer humanoid opponents, but it’s hard to say no to a Godzilla homage. At the very least it was also fun seeing the East squad again. Speedy and Robin had a nice team up as well.

Things changed a bit with the next comic as it was actually two mini stories. The first story is about Raven lending all of the Titans her super spooky book except for Beast Boy since she figured he couldn’t handle it. He’s not mature enough. He decides to prove her point by breaking into her room and stealing her book. It’s the wrong one though so he unleashes a monster to the world. Pretty decent comic and I’m glad we got the moral at the end that Beast Boy isn’t ready for it. The second half story was a lot better though as Robin faces off against Slade and they have an epic battle until Starfire wakes Robin up from his day dream. Hey, it might not have been real but it makes for a fun adventure. The art got very water colored for some reason for this issue. I’m not really a fan of that style, I’ll take the classic look.

The next two comics are definitely the best in the volume. First off is the return of Red X. He’s here with a vengeance as he starts committing a lot of crimes. The strange thing is that when the Titans try to stop him, he seems to be in 5 places at once. Most of them are robots but is the real one the real Red X? He’s never used such a tactic before. The Titans assemble and get ready to take him down. It’s a pretty action packed comic with Robin as the focus, how could this not win? Robin is also the only member to do well against his Red X counterpart which is worth mentioning. Yeah, all told, I was pretty satisfied with how the comic went. Even the art seemed to be at its peak here.

Next up was a sequel to the Master of Games story. The Titans are taking down crooks as per usual when a red gem shatters and they all switch powers. Robin gets Starfire’s abilities while Raven gets Robin’s hand to hand skills for example. It’s a pretty interesting development and as expected, Robin and Raven handle the changes the best. The others have a pretty tough time of it but they’ll have to stay strong since crime never takes a holiday. It’s not a super action packed episode or anything, but swapping powers can always be an amusing plot line for an episode. This one handled it pretty well at that.

Finally, we end off with a Christmas episode. The team has to deal with the Multiple Man. (I’m not positive if that’s his name, but it would make sense) He’s ruining Christmas for everyone. Robin manages to stop him with a good trick, but Beast Boy is sad because Robin has to give his present to a random guy whose present was ruined. The secret santa may not have worked out for everyone, but it’s the thought that counts. It’s a pretty happy comic that is fitting for a Christmas story and it’s a reasonable way to end the collection. It captures the spirit of the TV show as an action packed adventure that had a good amount of humor.

It’s always nostalgic seeing the old cast. The Titans Go series was definitely a blast so it’ll be cool seeing the other issues at some point. The art could use a bit of a tune up at times, but I like the overall color scheme and character designs. The author just has trouble with the faces from time to time. Either way it is certainly a style that is easy to read and stands out though so I’d call that a win in my book.

Overall, You should definitely check this comic out. Think of the issues as the lost episodes that you never got to see when you were a kid. Hopefully the series got quite a few more volumes before ending. The array of stories is pretty solid and it felt like a good amount of content was squeezed into the volume. In these troubled times of Chibi Teen Titans Go episodes, it’s always helpful to remember the original. Perhaps these stories will be adapted into a one season sequel show someday. You never know…it could happen.

Overall 7/10

Advertisements

Beast Boy vs Superman


11
This is a tribute to the Judas Contract. Beast Boy didn’t handle the Terra situation very well. She wasn’t even trying to be a nice person like in the TV show so that made it all the worse. Ah well, at least he was able to get over it fairly quick. Still, there’s no way he can hope to defeat Superman. Superman can lift whole buildings with 1 finger. Now that’s Power! Superman wins.

Leader vs Beast Boy




It’s time for the second round of the semi finals. Beast Boy is a pretty versatile fighter who can turn into any animal that he can think. This means that he can fight in many different ways, but none of his forms are as strong as the Hulk. Leader figured out how to give himself the Hulk’s strength at one point and coupled with his great intellect and many armors…it will be enough to win the fight. Beast Boy just can’t deal with that level of strength. Leader wins.

Beast Boy vs Grasshopper




It’s time for the last round of the quarter finals. Grasshoppers may be stronger than we gave them credit for and the single win that it got in the previous round will help it jump over at least 1000 fighters. Still, it won’t be enough to stop Beast Boy. He’s completely in his element against any animal since he can turn into the perfect counter. He also has some alien creatures at his disposal as well which will make for an easy victory. Beast Boy wins.

Beast Boy vs Penguin




It’s time for the real final match of round 1. The Penguin is a very smart villain although not as smart as some comics give him credit for. One issue actually had Batman admit that the Penguin was smarter than him and we all know that this isn’t true. Regardless, as a result, the Penguin has never achieved a real power up during the comics. There’s a chance that one exists and simply isn’t listed so feel free to let me know if you find something. Meanwhile, Beast Boy definitely takes this round for now as he can transform into some real dangerous animals and is simply a much better fighter. Beast Boy wins.

The New Teen Titans The Judas Contract Review

New_Teen_Titans_Judas_Contract_TP
I haven’t read a Teen Titans comic in a long while so it was fun to check out this collection. The library has two other graphic novels from The New Teen Titans run so maybe I’ll check those out at some point. I wouldn’t count on it being too soon though and can any of them beat the iconic Judas Contract? It’s a fun story-line and it is cool that the TV show loosely adapted it.

The graphic novel essentially picks up with a Brother Blood plot. He’s one of my least favorite Teen Titan villains so this was unfortunate, but at least we’re getting that part over with quickly. Brother Blood has a large cult, which kidnaps and brainwashes people. He has already tricked the media so the Teen Titans decide to go after him. It will prove to be difficult since political clout can go far. With their new teammate, Tara, The Teen Titans are ready for anything!

This arc wasn’t too important as it was really just setting up future events. For starters, Terra started to show the viewers her true colors through her conversations with Deathstroke. This was sowing the seeds for the Judas Contract arc and the team began to trust her a lot. The Brother Blood group also gains more power as a result of Blood being defeated as the world feels bad for the group now. Kid Flash also decided to leave the team, which was regrettable and Robin decided that his costume was not appropriate for his new role as the leader of the Teen Titans. He was Robin no more!

The Judas Contract started off with a bang as Terra and Deathstroke began to take out the Titans one by one. It was rather easy, which is a little embarrassing and Robin is the only guy to escape. He is joined up by Deathstroke’s wife and son as they tell Robin of Terra’s betrayal. Robin also formally turns into Nightwing in time for the big battle. Can the Titans really defeat Deathstroke and Terra? H.I.V.E. hopes so since a lot of money is riding on this deal.

This was the big Titans arc and it was definitely a fun adventure. I suppose that the reason why it is so big is that Terra never turned good. She ended up being evil from start to finish and that was likely quite the twist at the time. The introduction by the writer was fun as he mentioned how seriously people took this fact as well as the rivalry between DC and Marvel. I’m sure that quite a few people were enraged about what had happened. It was certainly a very bold move.

Robin is a solid lead for the group and I’m glad that he switched to the Nightwing persona quickly. Having him just act as Dick Grayson wasn’t quite as thrilling as when he was in costume. He looks very bad in the fight against Deathstroke, but he had just finished being Robin so I suppose that he wasn’t much of a fighter by this point. At least, now compared to guys like Batman and Deathstroke. Wonder Girl gets one of the smallest roles from the Titan members although she temporarily becomes the leader while Robin is finding his identity. She seems to only have a mild degree of super strength here as she is strong enough to take down Deathstroke, but Starfire seems to have the edge otherwise. Wonder Girl is definitely one of the nicest members on the team.

Cyborg was definitely a lot different from his New 52 self here and it’s in a good way. He isn’t afraid to break out the occasional pun and he’s a good fighter. Cyborg wants to show that he is more than just a machine and proves it by going past his limits. He’s a charismatic fighter and makes a reference to the Captain Carrot (I think that’s the name) comics that I plan to check out at some point. He gets a thumbs up for that alone. Starfire is much less naive than her TV show counterpart and a large part of her character is that she was raised by gladiators. Her hand to hand skills are even better than those of Wonder Girl. Add in Starfire’s energy blasts and she is easily the strongest member of the team. Unfortunately, her costume or lack thereof is addressed within the comic through a poorly veiled attempt at getting more readers on board through one of the covers. For the most part, the costume is just around and the comic doesn’t put any emphasis on it, but a better costume would certainly be ideal. Also, as much as the Titans remind Terra that they never destroy people, Starfire threatens to destroy Deathstroke several times. Since she is a warrior Starfire wouldn’t hesitate to do such a thing…it’s something that the Titans should keep in mind.

Beast Boy is easily the worst member of the group and most of his appearances are just there to remind us what a bad character he is. He turns into a mouse just to be able to look at Starfire from that viewpoint and it reminds you what a petty individual he is. He may not be great in the TV show, but he’s worlds better than how he was in the comics. He went from being a rather uninspired character to a terrible one and I like to think that he’s better in the New 52. We finally have a winner over there! Raven also looks terrible, but in a different way. I have no qualms with her personality, but she looks terribly weak. Raven is constantly going on about how she can sense evil, but since she can’t tell when a villain is right in front of her, it’s basically pointless. Her dark magic was overcome by Brother Blood and Terra defeated her twice. Once with a casual back fist and another time with a flying rock. Seriously, Raven was laughably weak and I could see Robin easily overpowering her.

I didn’t care for Jericho. He just seemed to be a little too full of himself and sucker punching Robin was definitely not cool. No, Jericho just couldn’t become a good character for me. Deathstroke’s wife was certainly a lot more interesting and she looked good in the origin story. Deathstroke’s origin story is definitely tragic. The army looked bad when they refused to let a super soldier stay in the ranks. Deathstroke then became a gun for hire, which is where he stepped into the side of darkness. Deathstroke is a very fun villain and with his narration it can be easy to forget. He sounds like a good guy and you are just reminded that he is on the side of evil whenever he tries to destroy someone.

That being said, I did think that the wife overreacted when Deathstroke made the decision to save Jericho. At that point, his best option was to try to take them out before they hurt him. If the wife had not been there, the situation would have likely been much easier. Still, Jericho kept his life and Deathstroke defeated the villains. Jericho got injured, but nothing could have prevented that. Deathstroke could have surrendered and then the villains would probably just destroy them all. Never trust another villain and that’s why I didn’t find Deathstroke’s decision to be all that bad. As he said, it was a calculated risk.

Terra is certainly much more experienced with her powers here than she was in the show. From the start, she’s already strong enough to take down Deathstroke and most of the Titans with ease. She can control parts of the Earth that are miles away from her present vicinity and her powers continued to grow. She’s a villain from start to finish although her act quickly convinces the Titans. (Which is sad, since she left quite a few clues.) As a villain, she’s decently likable, but I didn’t care for her cover as a hero. She went too overboard to pretend that she was one of them. Terra’s tough, but the Titans should still be able to take her on and it’s a little embarrassing for the team that they actually fell for her act.

There’s a lot of action in this graphic novel and the Deathstroke vs Robin match was probably the best fight even though Robin was completely outmatched. The sparring session between Starfire and Wonder Girl was also quite good. I also enjoyed most of the subplots like Robin helping a few senators get their reputations back. There was no point during the comic that I felt bored with the title. I dislike Brother Blood and his subplot wasn’t that good, but it would only be around for a few pages at a time and things would get good again once the Titans were back. They’re definitely a group that is easy to root for.

The art looks good and it’s in the classic DC style that is too old to be new, but too modern to be retro. This style works well for me and most of the character designs resemble the modern (Pre 52) ones that I am used too. I still can’t take Nightwing’s original design seriously after watching the Batman series, but I suppose that it may have worked well for its time….maybe. Deathstroke is one of those characters who looks essentially the same no matter what continuity he is in. You just can’t change the guy.

Overall, This was a fun comic. You’ll be reading through the comics quickly as they are all short and interesting. At times, the characters can go a little overboard in how annoying they can be and Terra/Beast Boy are the main perpetrators here. I don’t think that the writer really knew what to do with Raven either as she just looks really bad the whole time. I would have liked to have seen a full Robin vs Deathstroke fight, but I suppose that their brief skirmish does tell us all that we need to know about who would win the battle. I definitely recommend checking this out if you’re looking for a fun action comic to read. It is fairly similar to the X-Men comics at the time and the team dynamic does work whenever Beast Boy and Terra aren’t trying to wreck it. What would be perfect would be for Beast Boy to be dropped from the team and for Kid Flash to return. The Teen Titans would really be ready for action! (Also, I gotta say that there is no way that Beast Boy should have a 6 pack. He does not train at all so I seriously think that this is another one of those cases where the artist tried to make the characters look a little too tough. It’s fitting for everyone except Beast Boy) Also, be on the lookout for Batman’s guest star appearance!

Overall 7/10

Beast Boy vs Wildebeest


Bb_vs_wildebeest
Wildebeest is pretty tough, but he lacks energy blasts. Beast Boy can turn into a lot of animals, but do any of them really surpass Wildebeest? Wildebeest did take on Robin and Speedy in the past. This is a decently close fight, but I’m going to have to go with Wildebeest on this one. Having superpowers doesn’t always make you the winner. Wildebeest wins.

Aqualad vs Beast Boy


190058-115932-aqualad
115381-156676-beast-boy_super
Beast Boy has a pretty nifty ability which enables him to transform into any animal, but it just won’t be enough. Aqualad has a pretty good level of strength and his speed will be enough to dodge any lethal blows that Beast Boy may attempt. Beast Boy was never one of the strongest Teen Titans, but he still manages to win some battles…just not this one. Aqualad wins.

Raven vs Beast Boy


225205-79641-raven
Beast Boy can change his shape into many different animals, but that just won’t be enough in this round. Raven’s dark powers could quickly defeat Beast Boy and he’s just not strong enough to stop her. Raven takes another win with this round and moves up the blog ranks. Maybe Beast Boy will return for a win at some point. Raven wins.

Beast Boy vs Starfire


820913-00014 (1)
Beast Boy is back after a long absence, but he’s ready for another loss. He won’t be able to keep up with Starfire’s intense speed and raw power. Beast Boy has always been the weak link on the Teen Titans team and he definitely doesn’t stand a chance against their power member. He drops down the ranks with this loss. Starfire wins.