THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
It’s refreshing to actually have an interesting Teen Titans issue. With this second Annual for Teen Titans, Scott Lobdell actually delivers a coherent story and engaging twist. After escaping the time stream in the awful Teen Titans #24, Red Robin, Wonder Girl, and Superboy find themselves in some sort of future. This future shows a broken world, destroyed by the evil Superboy who Kon was cloned from.
Alternate future tales aren’t exactly new to comics, but this issue handled it well. The story was as believable as a time travel story can be, and it allows for Kon to fight the evil Superboy, which is something his character needed.
In Lobdell’s Superboy run, Kon is stated to be a derogatory Kryptonian term for abomination. Kon is called this because he was cloned off of John Lane Kent, the monstrous offspring of Superman. This derogatory name is unearned by Kon, who now comes face to face with his namesake. Finally seeing a confrontation between Kon and the actual abomination is nice, and brings Superboy’s story full circle. Kon also punches the John through the moon, which is pretty great.
The issue ends with a compelling twist; Beast Boy switches out Kon for John, sending the Titans back to their own time with the evil Kryptonian. It will be fascinating to see how the story develops from this point forward with a new Superboy. Hopefully he talks a little bit less about being a living weapon.
The art is done by four pencillers this month, which is crazy. The issue doesn’t contain large inconsistencies, however, and for the most part, the comic looks great; it really drives home the emotional dregs of such a bleak future.
The characters in this issue act as they should. While predictability isn’t the best example of a positive aspect in a story, there is something to be said for following logic in a plot. Tim sends himself a message from the past via Beast Man, Cassie breaks into the records area of the Watchtower to find out more about the events leading to the apocalyptic future, and Kon fights his physical demon and his namesake. The characters do what is logical, and it’s satisfying to read.
Raven would be able to tell that the Superboy the Titans take back home with them isn’t the right one. The last issue ended with Raven tethering her ‘soul-self’ to all of the Titans, and that tether was a way to help her find those whom she is tethered to. Whether or not Raven’s ignorance of Superboy’s identity was intentional will be revealed in the coming issues, but it definitely stands out.
Kon is about to kill the evil Superboy when suddenly, the events of another comic book (see Action Comics Annual #2) teleport him away. It’s frustrating that we don’t get a full conclusion to Kon’s story regarding the evil Superboy.
It seemed impossible that after Teen Titans #24, readers might get a breath of fresh air. While this issue was about a dark future, at this level of quality, the future of Teen Titans has a chance to be bright. With Scott Lobdell at the helm, readers probably shouldn’t hold their breath, but issues like this show that there is hope even for him.