Wednesday, July 13, 2005

OUTSIDERS #25/DC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #2

I've been waiting for a few days to see if I could come up with a coherent and informative response to Return of Donna Troy #2. I had held off commenting on Outsiders #25 because it was supposed to tie directly in to RoDT #2, but now that I've read both I can firmly say that I shouldn't have bothered. Either waiting or reading RoDT #2.

Outsiders featured the finale of the Insiders crossover with Teen Titans and it was a more impactful end than it should have been. There were logical loopholes big enough to drive an SUV through and it reads stronger without the RoDT postscript, but it wasn't bad.

The Indigo/Shift romance has been played strictly for giggles and tentacle porn, so the seriousness and poignancy of the flashback scene and its present-time conclusion felt a little ex nihilo, but they were the best parts of the issue. Indigo and Shift were the two members of the team facing the greatest identity crises and the irony of Indy's solution did not go unnoticed.

Everyone else in the Outsiders was kind of their usual selves -- a little out of character and not doing much of interest or use. Since when has Kory been hesitant in battle? Why did Lex go through all that trouble to activate Superboy in the first place, re-activate him when he broke conditioning an issue ago, and then just give up and leave him behind instead of using the magic words again? The fight scenes underwhelmed in general -- woefully inefficient considering there were two teams present, despite Kory's going supernova. We all knew Dick would storm off eventually, so I suppose all that was missing was the on-panel settling of the pool organized by Roy and Gar as to when that would be.

Of course, Dick wasn't going to be gone long and his insistence lasted only a few pages into RoDT #2. Which is about how far I lasted the first go-round. Phil Jimenez needs a much firmer editor or, even better, a scripter, if he's going to be writing any more stories. (And no, I didn't even start Otherworld.) The narrative in this issue was dense to the point of impenetrability, far too copious, and not very interesting. Plus, his dialogue needs serious work and he needs to prioritize. The story itself is stiff enough as it is without unending explanations of inconsequential Pre-Crisis continuity points. The Exposition Fairy was pulling a double shift on this puppy.

Everything said for the last issue holds true for this one, except now we've got the full reunion going with the arrival of the old Teen Titans and their newer proteges, the full reversal of the old Mind Games of the Titan Seeds plot, and the Empathetic Glowing Orb of Travel Joy. We're also rapidly reaching the point of unreadability -- the art is truly lovely, but oh, lordy is it hard to to keep paying attention. We've known since the last pages of Graduation Day that Donna was coming back sooner rather than later, but did it have to hurt this much?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't even both with Other World. I love his art, but the writing is too terrible to ignore. I dropped the book, and I never drop anything mid-story.

-Rob

Wed Jul 13, 01:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Scott said...

Rob's right, I hurt my brain tryong to read Otherworld. I think there's a good story and good characters there somewhere, which makes it even more of a pity.

What I want to know is: Donna Troy has had so many origins, why did they pick the most assinine one for her her return?

Thu Jul 14, 12:21:00 PM EDT  
Blogger The Comics Shrew said...

What I want to know is: Donna Troy has had so many origins, why did they pick the most asinine one for her return?

... all the better to make restoring her memories by wrapping Wally in the Magic Lasso look brilliant by comparison?

Thu Jul 14, 03:17:00 PM EDT  

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