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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Tales of the Teen Titans 55 - Changeling vs Deathstroke

Very good cover by Eduardo Barreto for Tales of the Teen Titans 55 (July 1985).

Despite his plan for getting Deathstroke free having worked, Changeling is in a mood to kill as Ron Randall joins Wolfman for this story. Nightwing, Starfire and Cyborg have small roles right at the top of the tale, as they try to calm Changeling down. Steve Dayton and Jillian Jackson also have no luck. Changeling has one goal in this tale, to kill Deathstroke, and is pretty open about it, challenging the villain to meet him.

Deathstroke comes off quite sad and tired in the story, though still at the top of his game. To Changeling's anger, Deathstroke refuses to battle him while wearing the costume. If Changeling wants to kill him, he will have to kill Slade Wilson, not Deathstroke. Deathstroke doesn't even try to fight back, and Changeling finds he cannot kill the man.

The story takes a surprising, but very effective turn, as the two men go for lunch instead, and talk. Changeling learns more about Terra. Deathstroke first met her in Africa, where both were hired to kill King Tawaba. Deathstroke saw that Tawaba was a positive influence in Africa, and refused. Terra had no qualms about killing him. This all horrifies Changeling, as Tawaba had taken the boy in after the deaths of his parents.

Changeling has to come to accept that Terra was who she was. Deathstroke did not corrupt her and turn her against the Titans, she was a bitter and angry girl, hell bent on destruction, and there was nothing anyone would have done about it. It's a hard pill for Changeling to swallow, but he reaches acceptance with it by the end of the tale.

Surprisingly well done, after a few less than stellar issues.

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