It pains me to say it, but the best thing about this issue is the cover. Well, maybe it’s the second best thing. After all, this issue does contain a preview of “The Last Days of Animal Man.”
In all seriousness, this second part of “Deathtrap” leaves a little to be desired. Stringing the Titans along from the first installment in the “Titans” title, this issue does little to advance the sinister plot of Jericho, yet just seems to mark time in the story between “Titans” #12 and “Teen Titans” #70. No shocking revelations are dropped here as we knew Jericho was batcrap crazy before this storyline started.
Wolfman tries to make Vigilante relevant and strong, but unfortunately could not find a method to do so other than to weaken and demean the Titans. Considering Wolfman’s extended history with these characters, his treatment of the Titans is disheartening in a story that should be big and meaningful for the Titans franchise.
The big surprise for me in this issue was the artistic team of Tom Lyle and Scott Hanna. The duo handled art chores for a number of titles back in the 1980s and early 1990s. The art they deliver is a rugged throwback to that era, with secure storytelling and strong, dynamic figures. In some panels, however, due to a combination of illustration and coloring, it becomes unclear if Jericho is truly possessing other people or somehow exhibiting a telepathic influence over others.
“Vigilante” has historically been tied to the Titans mythos, but in this instance the inclusion seems forced and contrived. “Deathtrap” doesn’t appear to need Vigilante to advance the story, nor does he seem to be doing much to add to the story. Rather, the issues of “Vigilante” have been a distraction, picking at the mortar of Titans Tower in a half-brewed attempt to make Vigilante seem crafty.
The story seems to be either decompressed or mismanaged. The biggest development here is the addition of the Teen Titans team to the stew brewing in this story. Their addition and role in this story is not clearly defined, but they are literally on a crash course with the rest of the players in this drama.