Teen Titans #77

Story by
Art by
Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Jack Jadson
Colors by
Rod Reis
Letters by
Sal Cipriano
Cover by
DC Comics

This issue is less a "Blackest Night" Teen Titans issue and more of a "Blackest Night" Deathstroke issue. Krul masterfully handled more than a few undead Titans in the pages of the "Blackest Night: Titans" series. This issue gives Krul another chance to dive into the lives of the Titans or, in this case, the life of Slade Wilson -- Deathstroke -- frequent foe of the Titans in all of their incarnations.

Krul takes advantage of the thirty pages afforded him in this issue (the "normal" Ravager "second feature" is pre-empted here) to bring back all of the people most important to Wilson, including his living daughter, Rose, the current Ravager and sometimes Teen Titans member. From there, this issue features lots of yelling, stabbing, slicing, and burning -- something "Titans" books have been short on lately. Everyone from Deathstroke's past comes out to play in this issue, attacking as only Black Lanterns can. Wintergreen's here, as is Grant Wilson, Adeline, even Wade DeFarge, all trying to drudge up Deathstroke's past and drag him down.

Bennett's art is detailed -- exactly what every issue filled with reanimated corpses needs -- and crisp. The sheer amount of chain mail rendered in this comic has to set some kind of comic book record. Bennett must be seeing chain mail in his nightmares. That said, he manages to deliver Black Lanterns distinctly identifiable from one another, despite the similarities many of these characters share. His Rose Wilson is lithe and acrobatic, while his Deathstroke is a solidly compact warrior.

This issue is another fine example of how "Blackest Night" crossovers/tie-ins can be handled. This issue may not mirror scenes from the latest issue of the main "Blackest Night" title, but it certainly carries enough information to provide a quick background on what's going on, should any "Teen Titans" readers have successfully pulled off living in a comic book bubble over the past five months.

The biggest disappointment for me, in this issue, was the cover. The cover image is a nice homage to the work of George Perez, but not one of the Black Lanterns on the cover of this issue actually appears inside. I was hoping to see a little more of the Black Lantern Hawk in action.

Krul has managed to find a comfortably exciting place in the realm of the Titans, and I hope this issue is a precursor of more "Titans" related issues penned by Krul. The Titans universe has been floundering of late and this event is giving it a much-needed boost.

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