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Friday, 14 April 2017

Teen Titans 28 - Aqualad decks Robin

Steve Skeates joins Nick Cardy for Teen Titans 28 (July/Aug 70), and brings both Robin and Aqualad back into the book. Neither hero had really left the team permanently. Robin, effectively, had only been gone during the Titan's training period with Mr. Jupiter, and Aqualad's return follows the conclusion of the Quest for Mera in Aquaman.

In the last couple of panels of the previous issue, Sharon Tracy, Wonder Girl's roommate, saw something that made her scream. This issue opens by following that up, with Sharon all freaking out. Aqualad comes to her place, for some reason dressed to conceal his identity. Sharon is scared of him, but it turns out it's a different man she should be scared of, who is following Aqualad. Aqualad fights off the attacker, only to learn that Sharon cannot remember what it is she saw that distressed her.

Aqualad runs into Robin, and helps him break up a car theft ring, and then they head to the rest of the Teen Titans. This is the first time Aqualad has met  Hawk & Dove, Mal or Lilith, but he doesn't seem much interested in them. Aqualad tells the Titans that the guy he fought was one of Ocean Master's men, and wants the team to help him protect Sharon and stop Ocean Master. Even Wonder Girl makes excuses, and explains about how they all feel guilty about the death of the peace activist. Aqualad completely loses his cool, yelling at them and getting into a fight with Robin.

Aqualad succeeds at goading the team into action. Lilith uses her powers to get into Sharon's mind and retrieve her lost memories, a few pages that Cardy has a lot of fun with. Lilith learns that what Sharon saw was an alien changing shape. The Titans still don't seem to want to do anything about that, though.

Aqualad just gives up all hope in his teammates, and sets out to find Ocean Master and the aliens himself. This all ties in with events currently going on in the pages of Aquaman, as Ocean Master regains his own memories of his identity, while working with alien invaders. He beats Aqualad in a fight, and leaves the boy tied to a tree, far from water, to die.

The story continues in the next issue.

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