Friday, April 17, 2015

Forty-eight "When Titans Clash" entries in the GCD; I can't say this is the best one.

Long Island is on the verge of being floated out to sea, in the hopes of being conquered and made a sovereign nation; but the Teen Titans still have time for a slapping match. From 1977, Teen Titans #52, "When Titans Clash!" Written by Bob Rozakis, pencils by Don Heck, inks by Bob Smith.

Facing the villains Captain Calamity and Mr. Esper, we have not one but two teams of Titans: a deep roster, but this predates popular members like Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven. Robin's team featured standards like Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy, and Aqualad; along with newcomers Bumblebee, the Mal Duncan Guardian, and Harlequin, the "Joker's Daughter." (I don't know much about her, except that she almost definitely wasn't.) The second team's biggest name was probably Beast Boy, or Hawk and Dove; but also included Golden Eagle (not Hawkman), Lilith, Gnarkk (a defrosted caveman type?) and Bat-Girl. That's Bat-Girl with a hyphen, Bette (or Betty) Kane; who would be overshadowed by the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, yet DC still tries to shoehorn her into continuity here and there.

Esper had been stealing power from Lilith for his crimes, like moving Long Island. Wonder Girl stops the teams from fighting, and later knocks out Lilith, severing Esper's link to her. As Aqualad uses whales to move Long Island back where it belongs (even though he only showed up this issue planning on quitting) Robin, Harlequin, and Bat-Girl beat Captain Calamity, and discover he and Mr. Esper were one in the same. In the denouement, Robin explains Esper was probably "a product of Lilith's mental energy," but he doesn't seem to be especially interested in the case after putting him in jail.

Losing a bet, Robin springs for dinner and a picture of the combined Titans, although he may have just wanted one of himself, Bat-Girl, and Wonder Girl...


Dale Bagwell said...

I honestly did not know that Beast Boy was on the Titans prior to the now famous Wolfman/Perez version. Hmm.

Never was a big fan of Don Heck's art or his appeal, but his art here looks waaaay better than his Marvel run.

SallyP said...

Is it just me, or did the Titans clash an awful lot?