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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Tales of the Teen Titans 54 - Deathstroke on trial

Deathstroke's trial is the foremost plot thread in Wolfman, Buckler, Giordano and DeCarlo's story from Tales of the Teen Titans 54 (June 1984).

Picking up from the end of the previous issue, Changeling is not at all happy about how the trial is going, completely loses his cool, and attacks Deathstroke in the middle of Adrian Chase's courtroom. Nightwing, Wonder Girl, Cyborg and Starfire calm Changeling down, and he storms out.

Later, Deathstroke shows up attacking a ship in the harbour, despite being in prison. It is clearly someone else in the costume, though the Titans are not sure who. Starfire notes that the ship Deathstroke blows up belongs to Steve Dayton, and was moored at his dock.

Cyborg starts a new plot thread in this issue, after news that STAR Labs may be able to replace his metal parts with ones that will make him look human, without removing his abilities. His grandparents are against the operation at first, but Cyborg explains how important it is to him to look like a normal person again, no matter what the risk.

Nightwing gets called to testify, as does Lilith. The actions of the mystery man dressed as Deathstroke, combined with the inability of any of the witnesses to prove that Slade Wilson was wearing the costume at the time the crimes he is being tried for were committed, results in Adrian Chase having no choice but to acquit Deathstroke of all but one of the charges, that of illegal possession of weapons.

There is a little more in the Azrael/Lilith plot thread. This is all very poorly handled. Lilith leaves the team, but will return in the Baxter series at the same time these issues are coming out. Still, it must be said, the Azrael/Lilith plot line is handled no better in that book.

As the issue ends we discover that Changeling had "borrowed" Steve Dayton's Mento helmet, using it to make himself look like Deathstroke. He intended to have the charges against Deathstroke thrown out, so that the villain would go free, and Changeling could get his own revenge.

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