After twenty years of waiting - is New Teen Titans: Games worth the wait?
Credits & Solicit Info:
The New Teen Titans: Games
Marv Wolfman & George Perez
Let's set the Wayback-Machine to 1979. Over at Marvel Comics, writer Marv Wolfman was at the top of his field writing/editing such books as Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and the critically praised Tomb of Dracula. He would soon leave as part of a creative exodus to DC after Jim Shooter was named EIC at Marvel. Marv was given some meager books to write, but with friend and editor Len Wein, Marv pitched a Teen Titans revival to DC's publisher. Her response was basically 'meh', but she trusted the two enough to say go for it.
Also at Marvel in 1979, was artist George Perez, who was becoming a superstar in his own right drawing such titles as Inhumans, Marvel Two-in-One, Fantastic Four and the Avengers. George jumped over to DC when Wolfman opened up the possibility of Perez dream job (drawing the Justice League) by offering him his 'in' at DC by drawing the Teen Titans (a book George initially didn't think would last that long).
After a quick intro in DC Comics Presents, The New Teen Titans #1 hit the stands and rest is comics history. The combination of Wolfman & Perez was sheer magic and the New Teen Titans was suddenly (and deservedly) DC number one title, rivaling X-Men in sales and popularity. Robin (soon to be Nightwing), Wonder Girl, Changeling (soon to be back to Beast Boy), Cyborg, Starfire & Raven were the core of the team and for four years there was very little better.
In time, Perez left for other opportunities, and even though there were some great fun stuff that Wolfman continued with, the Titans heyday was over.
But there was till one story left. The two plotted and Perez drew some 50 pages and then... production stopped. Over the next TWENTY YEARS, the book would get a jolt activity and then be forgotten again. TWO DECADES later, the stars aligned and somehow someway, through forgotten plot points and tweaking for a more modern audience, another 70 pages were produced and on September 21, 2011, The New Teen Titans: Games was on sale.
Was it worth it? Hell Yes!
A deadly game of cat & mouse is being played between a madman and King Faraday (a high ranking CBI agent). The madman known as the Gamesmaster has it out for Farday and he has set up an elaborate series of attacks in the US (primarily New York City). Faraday enlist the Titans for help but they pass not trusting Faraday a whole lot. Faraday's government pals then make the private lives of the Titans nearly impossible (audits, EPA violations, etc). When's it's revealed that the Gamesmaster is aware of their secret identities and that the Titans are now being targeted, they sign up. Meanwhile the bald headed bad guy formulates his strategies as he electronically spies on the Titans.
Warnings are given to the Titans friends and families, but sadly, Cyborg's friend Sarah Simms is killed in a bombing. Finding a package of clues, the Titans split up to investigate each one leaving Faraday in the Titans Tower to coordinate. Each member soon finds themselves in battle against the Gamesmaster's Playing Pieces (a group of brand new villains - each one geared to take on the specific Titans that the Gamesmaster 'arranged' to meet them up with).
As each Piece begins to fall, the master game begins, one that could very well destroy all of New York. Nightwing encounters and after a prolonged battle defeats the bald guy, who Nightwing discovers is NOT the Gamesmaster after all. Starfire gets citically injured and Danny ("the Brat") Chase must sacrifice everything to stop a bomb and then things gets worse as they find that their own headquarters, Titans Tower, is powering up the very energy field that is crushing the city and to top it all off, they realize that the Gamesmaster is really Faraday and that they only way to stop the energy field is to blow up the Tower!!!
Time passes as we see the fallout from the events within, and the Titans determined to take on whatever comes next.
If that recap sounds like there is a lot going, please know that that is only scratching the surface. This book is full of depth and detail that if you're expecting it to read like most comics today (over and done in 5 minutes) you can fugetaboutit. Wolfman hits every Titans characterization perfectly as they feel just like they did way back when. And Perez... the man is pure genius.
My only regret in this book is that while we see the Titans together in thier Tower (or elsewhere) all the battles are done solo (except for one quick bit near the books end that has a couple 'team-up' in a very creative way).
Writing - 9
Art - 10
Overall - 9.5
Review by: Amoebas