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Friday, 14 April 2017

Teen Titans 36 - the secret of Romeo and Juliet, an Aqualad story, and Lilith's past


Three of the four stories in Teen Titans 36 (Nov/Dec 71) feature new material, although I suspect the Aqualad story had been intended to run in the recently cancelled Aquaman book.


Haney, Tuska and Cardy begin the issue by concluding the Romeo and Juliet story from the previous issue. They introduce Calibano, the misshapen cousin of Romeo, and Lilith senses that all three of them are reincarnated from the same period. It turns out that, unknown to Shakespeare, Calibano loved Juliet, and killed Romeo in a duel over her, which is what drove Juliet to suicide. So that's sort of why there were three empty graves at the end of the previous issue, although reincarnation does not usually mean the body of the original person goes missing.


But this is a fairly silly tale, so who cares. Robin, Speedy and Wonder Girl don't even get a lot to do (and Kid Flash is laid up in the hospital). Mr. Jupiter is even more important than the Titans, dealing with the criminal gang working with Calibano. 


In the end, Della Loggia teams up with Jupiter to bring his evil nephew down. Lilith and Romeo are free to love without a feud keeping them apart. But it seems that the spark has worn off, as we never see Romeo or hear about him again.


The Aqualad story is by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo, and has the youth coming to the aid of a mysterious woman being threatened by an alien.


Virtually nothing is explained, and though Aqualad defeats the bad guy, the woman takes off. Aqualad is sure he will meet the woman again. Because this is by the same creative team as the Aquaman comic, and it feels like a chapter from an issue of it, with the dangling plot thread, I am fairly sure it was intended for that book.


Haney and Cardy also begin a back-up feature centring on Lilith in this issue. It will run sporadically through the remainder of this book's run.


We get to see Lilith as a younger child, not quite 13, and learn that her last name is Clay. She developed psychic powers quite young, which disturbed the people in the town she was living in. Her first real use of the powers was to find a missing dog, but she then confronted her parents, informing them that she knows she was really adopted.


Lilith heads to the orphanage, but finds out very little, only that her mother also had psychic powers, and problems with her father. She returns to her adoptive parents, but decides to set out and find her real ones.


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