JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative
March 11, 2013
The Titans retrospective continues with the Justice League of Jerks vs. the team with too many members! Oh, and the moon gets stolen.
(Open on a closeup of the DC comic "The Technis Imperative")
Linkara (v/o): In the late '90s, probably 1999 or so, my fifth grade class was taking a field trip for the weekend to a camp. We would ride on Greyhound for the multi-hour drive in relative comfort, but obviously, I needed stuff to keep myself occupied on the trip. I didn't own a Game Boy Pocket yet, but my mom very nicely brought my brother and I to the local comic book store to pick out something to read on the trip. With my passing familiarity with the Titans in the "Nightwing: Secret Files and Origins" comic I mentioned last week, I instantly noticed a trade paperback on the shelf: "JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative". The book promised a fight between the teams, and the idea of Nightwing fighting Batman was too tempting to resist. And so, my mom bought it for me.
Linkara: (holding comic) And this is that same trade paperback, only obviously a little worse for wear over the years, with dog-ear pages and a part of the cover starting to rip a bit. Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. Today, however, we're not talking about bad comics. We're talking about my favorite comic of all time, "JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative".
(AT4W title sequence plays; title card has "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones playing in the background. Cut to a montage of '90s Teen Titans comics)
Linkara (v/o): So unfortunately, the mid-'90s Teen Titans hadn't really caught on with readers, but there was still a demand for new material for the team. While, of course, DC had suffered in the early '90s along with the rest of the industry, with the speculator boom and overuse of crossover comics and gimmicky covers and events and other staples of the time, the mid-to-late '90s were actually when the company really started to make headway again, with some of the best stories of the last twenty years. Sure, there will still silly, gimmicky things happening – for example, electric blue Superman – but the stories themselves were pretty damn good. Grant Morrison was routinely breaking 100,000 sales on "JLA", James Robinson's "Starman" series was a major hit, and while Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" book was coming to a close, it was still a solid series that lasted longer, with more awesome stories than I think anyone would have predicted. The reintroduction of the Justice Society of America characters in "Starman" and "Sandman", coupled with a test run during one of Morrison's JLA arcs, most likely inspired DC to bring back the first superhero team in 1999. And alongside all of those great books came "JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative". It's interesting going back and reading interviews of the time in preparation for the mini and all the things that ended up changing for it or what motivated costumes and name changes. For example, at the end of this miniseries, Cyborg gets a new look, motivated by, of all things, an Elseworlds story that I've brought up before: "Kingdom Come".
Linkara: And unlike books about Catwoman's boob socks or superheroes losing their powers and becoming neurotic idiots as a result, "Kingdom Come" was a good Elseworlds story.
(A shot of the cover of "Kingdom Come" is shown)
Linkara (v/o): We'll talk some more about "Kingdom Come" and its sequel "The Kingdom" next time, because of the effects it ended up having on the book and the DC Universe. So what's the story behind "The Technis Imperative"?
(Cut back to "The Technis Imperative")
Linkara (v/o): Well, I've been reading up and getting a few conflicting accounts there. From Devin Grayson, the writer, she said that the book was just something that had always been floating around the offices, and they finally decided to do it, and halfway in, they decided to launch the New Titans series. Phil Jimenez, the co-writer and artist, said that the Titans series was already going to happen due to popular demand, and the miniseries was just seen as a bridge to creating the new book. Whichever is the case, "The Technis Imperative" is probably the best example out there of the problem with a shared superhero universe.
Linkara: You see, DC and Marvel tend to be structured into little fiefdoms. (pronounces it "FIFE-doms", then looks up in thought) "Fiefdoms"? (pronounces it "FEEF-doms") So, like a group of writers and editors for the Batman books, a group of writers and editors for the Superman books, etc., etc. So, situations like this are pretty common. (as a writer) Yay! I have written a story where Batman and Wonder Woman team up to fight Lex Luthor! (as an editor) Nay! I am the editor of the Superman books, and ye shall not use Lex Luthor in your story! (as another editor) I doth protest! I am the editor of Wonder Woman, and ye shall not use Wonder Woman, unless you mention this event occurring in the book!
Linkara (v/o): This might seem like a chaotic way of operating, and it is, but it's actually been done by the industry ever since the '30s and '40s. Superman and Batman were both members of the Justice Society back then, but their respective editors refused to let the characters been seen on the covers of Justice Society books, worried about reader confusion and brand dilution. It took the higher-ups of the company to say, "Those people don't own these characters, we do, so put them on the cover." And that's essentially what's happening in "The Technis Imperative". It basically features the entire DC Universe: almost every living Justice League member, every member of the Titans – and remember, there's a lot of those – and in turn, the Big Three of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. So everybody had a say in how those characters are written and portrayed. Issue 2 actually got a lot of rewrites because the JLA editor didn't like how they were coming off in the story. Devin Grayson said in an interview that we're basically reading the 39th version of the story after all the rewrites and restructures.
Linkara: And if you're wondering why I spent an hour telling you guys about the history of the Teen Titans, (points to comic in his hand) this story is the reason why. While in my opinion, "The Technis Imperative" is a story that you don't need to know the history of the Titans to enjoy, it really does make a much better experience if you do.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, let's get this thing started.
Beast Boy: (narrating) Sometimes you do get everything you want!
Linkara: Well, that kind of invalidates the whole "You Can't Always Get What You Want" song. Stop being so optimistic.
Linkara (v/o): Starfire, in perhaps the most modest outfit she's ever worn, is being chased through space by some kind of weird goopy ball thing that's changing shape. Of course, she'd have an easier time evading this thing if there weren't all these damn flashback panels in her way.
Beast Boy: (narrating) I mean, yeah, there was danger. We never knew what was gonna hit us next...
Linkara: (as Beast Boy) One day, it will be murderous fashion designers; other days, our own teammates turning inexplicably evil...
Beast Boy: (narrating) And as scared as I sometimes was, I always knew I would never have to face a threat alone.
Linkara: (as Beast Boy) Not when I had my friend (holds up handgun) Billy the Handgun!
Beast Boy: (narrating) We weren't just a team. We weren't just friends.
Linkara: (as Beast Boy) We were the Superfriends.
Beast Boy: (narrating) Me and Cyborg, Raven, Wonder Girl, Nightwing...
Linkara: (holds up index finger) True story: when I first read this, I basically knew nothing about the team, and I completely missed that first comma, so I assumed there was a character named Cyborg Raven.
Beast Boy: ...we were a family.
Linkara: (as Beast Boy) It made it kind of uncomfortable for us when Starfire kept walking around in a bikini.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, and speaking of Starfire...
Linkara: You know, there is this comic book legend that artist Wally Wood tried to Power Girl's breasts larger and larger until they asked him to stop. I wonder if there was a similar thing going on with Starfire's hair.
Linkara (v/o): Because, really, you can get away with the stylized flying with the hair streak behind her, but that doesn't really excuse the size of her hair actually being larger than her own torso. Anyway, when we last left off in the Titans History, Argent and Beast Boy had gone off together, and that's where we are now: the two talking about their time together and lamenting that there aren't any Titans.
Argent: (narrating) But you said you were traveling with Cyborg? Why'd you leave him?
Beast Boy: Vic, you mean? He calls himself Cyberion now. I dunno-- he just got really weird.
Linkara: (as Beast Boy) He tried to install Windows 8 on himself and just started going nuts.
Linkara (v/o): There's an alarm in the... wherever the hell they are, and it turns out it's Prysm and Fringe.
Beast Boy: What are you doing here?
(Cut to a clip of Suburban Knights)
Obscurus Lupa: What are you doing here?
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Prysm warns them that something has shut down half the H'San Natall Empire, and it's headed for Earth... just as we see Starfire getting captured and Omen teleporting away, sensing an impending disaster. Wait, some great disaster?! "COUNTDOWN"! (screams) We cut to the JLA watchtower on the moon, where they're installing some new technology. Among their members are The Flash and the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern, who's feeling down at the moment because of what happened in a then-recent event called "DC One Million". However, the technology starts going nuts as they spot a large sphere, similar to the one that had been chasing Starfire, approaching the moon. Green Lantern and Orion head out to engage it, and the Martian Manhunter senses no biological life. This is important to note, since it explains the attitude of the JLA in this book. We cut to Starfire, who awakens on what looks like Tamaran, but everything aside from her looks very washed out. Her parents arrive and wonder about where Dick Grayson is and inquires about her children.
Starfire: Dick isn't with me. And we are not married.
Linkara: (as Starfire) I mean, we tried, but then the priest got vaporized, and my friend turned evil and she made out with me, only I then carried her soul... It was a whole thing. It was probably best you didn't attend. The reception afterward was just awkward.
Starfire: You both died when Tamaran was destroyed. And I have no children.
Linkara (v/o): Ha! You know why that's so damn amusing to me? There was actually a lot in the team history of "The New Teen Titans" book that I didn't talk about because it wasn't relevant to the proceedings here. One of those is that Starfire actually got married to some no-name guy off-panel at the end of "The New Titans", and it was heavily implied...
(Editor's note: "And by "implied" I mean THEY FRIGGIN' SAY IT.")
Linkara (v/o): ...that she was pregnant with his kid.
Linkara: Retcons! For when you need to remove completely stupid and pointless plots!
Linkara (v/o): Back on Earth, chaos quickly begins erupting across the globe. Electronic devices are going haywire while all computer databases throughout the world are being hacked and downloaded. Oracle consults with Batman on it, saying he should shut down the bat-computer, (suddenly amused) and what the hell is Batman wearing? With the shoulder spikes? I don't even remember that being a thing in the '90s with Batman.
Linkara: (as Batman, scrunching up his shoulders in imitation of his pose) Now that I look like Stryfe, everyone will know that I'm cool! (beat) I'm Batman.
Linkara (v/o): Up in space, the JLA observe dozens of objects splitting off from the sphere thing and heading out to various parts of the world... except for three that head towards the JLA watchtower. Green Lantern, The Flash and The Atom are all taken by the alien probes. One heads to Gotham and scans Robin, Tim Drake, but it doesn't match and it heads off instead for Bludhaven, taking Nightwing. One of the probes even arrives at Cyborg's grandparents' house, but leaves when it doesn't find him. And naturally, the same thing just keeps happening. Reports come across from all over the place: Troia, Terra II, and etc. All the former members of the Titans throughout their various incarnations get taken by the probes. The Flash, thinking that he's destroyed the probe that was sent for him, suddenly sees an image of his uncle, the former Flash, Barry Allen.
Linkara: (as Flash) My God, Barry, you've come back! I hope this doesn't result in a really pointless miniseries that ends up rebooting the entirety of the DC Universe in 2011 and gets me completely erased from history! Because that would be stupid.
Linkara (v/o): By the way, I should note that something really damn awesome about this book that made it so accessible to me, despite not really knowing that much about the DC Universe at the time, are these little profile boxes that show up any time another member of the Titans shows up. Sure, it doesn't give their complete biography, but it gives you a name and description of their powers, and that's incredibly helpful for new readers. Anyway, one of the people the probes doesn't manage to catch is Raven, and we spot her in golden form chasing after them. So the probes don't really seem powerful enough to be wreaking all the havoc on Earth that's occurring, so what could actually be responsible for...
(Before he can finish, the answer reveals itself: various scraps of spaceships and such which seem to be covering the moon)
Linkara (v/o): SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP, IT'S SWALLOWING THE MOON!!!
Linkara: (stares at the image briefly, stunned) I would say "pants to be darkened," but I can assure you that it's already done.
Linkara (v/o): With the moon being overtaken by, well, that, we see Batman arriving at a familiar island off the New York coastline. He sends out a distress call to the JLA to meet him at his coordinates since he's followed the probes to their destination. Up on the moon, Orion sees that the object swallowing the moon is basically an alien junkyard, composed of various ships and pieces of technology all crammed together. He opens fire on it... aaand suddenly the Earth starts tearing itself apart; earthquakes, typhoons, tidal waves, all the fun stuff that happens when you screw with the moon! Orion's attacks are agitating whatever the thing is, and it's pulling on the moon in response. The alien force teleports the remaining JLA off the moon and sends them to Earth, where everyone reconvenes at Batman's location. He says they're dealing with a hostage situation now, and they can't risk a direct assault. You know, for that reason, and certainly not the whole "attacking it caused the entire world to risk exploding like a shaken-up soda can" thing. Back in Flash Land, Wally naturally doesn't buy any of this and starts vibrating rapidly, which causes him to break free of some kind of storage tank where he had been held. Raven greets him and they get to work on freeing the others. Speaking of, Nightwing finds himself in a similar setting as he sees Batman... who does this... (...the hologram of Batman runs through Nightwing) And then he smiles!
Linkara: Whenever Batman smiles like this, thousands of people start crying and they don't know why.
Linkara (v/o): And Nightwing's reaction to this is best: he just kinda gawks at him and says he isn't Batman, walking off and coming across Beast Boy. Using a Tibetan meditation technique, he breaks the two of them free, and they join up with Flash and Raven. And of course, they realize that they're surrounded by capsules containing captured Titans.
Linkara: (stroking chin) Wait a second... capsules containing people, virtual reality constructs... How dare they rip off The Matrix a whole year before The Matrix came out!
(Cut to a man with an Australian accent, played by Lewis (almost like the title character in Crocodile Dundee) walking past the comic shelf, holding a bow and arrow)
Aussie Guy: PUSH THAT CART! (sees camera) Oh, we'll be right back. (walks off) THE CART'S MOVING THE WRONG WAY, YOU BLOODY WANKERS!
(The AT4W logo appears in the corner as we go to commercial; upon return, the sound of blood spurting is heard, and the Aussie guy returns)
Aussie Guy: Ha! Not so smart with your brains outside your head! (sees camera) Uh, we're back now.
(He leaves, laughing, as the AT4W logo appears in the corner; the review resumes)
Linkara (v/o): After Batman gets some more reports about Titans who have been taken, he identifies that they're of course on Titans Island, and their first priority is to get the hostages safe. Also, Catwoman is stalking nearby. Yeah, I have no idea why Catwoman is here. Editorial mandate, if I had to guess. She's in the purple Jim Balent costume, but at least it isn't some stupid corset thing. By the way, this book has some neat parallel transitions, with characters speaking a line of dialogue and then it's finished by another character in a different scene. And Part One ends with another example of that, as Batman asks for thoughts from the JLA members before it transitions to the four Titans discussing said thoughts. Who could be responsible for all of this? Beast Boy says it isn't any of their villains. The one responsible is none other than Victor Stone – Cyborg.
(A dramatic sting is heard in response)
Linkara (v/o): In Part Two, the alien force, detecting the JLA's presence on the island, dispatches more probes to gather potential allies for the Titans in their fight, while Beast Boy and Raven explain what the hell is going on. It's a big exposition dump, but a good one. It feels completely natural and comes directly from the voices of the characters. Beast Boy explains about how Cyborg's life was kind of sucky. All he ever wanted was to be more human, but as time went on, he just became less, not helped during that whole "being completely robotic" phase. He explains the Technis stuff a lot better than I could and how they needed his humanity and soul to give it purpose. But then, during the end of the "New Titans" series, the Technis got destroyed. Cyborg, now Cyberion, wanted to honor "the Technis Imperative" – and there's your title – by exploring the universe. He asked Beast Boy to keep him company, but the farther into deep space they got, the more his mind retreated into the machine. Raven takes over from here. You remember that Jarras minion from last time? Well, it seems he gave a gift to Cyberion: his Omegadrome war suit. The Omegadrome was an advanced techno-organic material. Think the T-1000.
(Cut to a clip of Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger): A mimetic polyalloy.
John Connor (Edward Furlong): What the hell does that mean?
The Terminator: Liquid metal.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): It enabled Cyberion to assimilate various pieces of technology throughout the universe and try to recreate the Technis. Except, he's gotten a bit confused. His desire to recreate the Technis got cross-wired with his humanity and memories. Thus, instead of recreating the beings of light on Technis, he wanted to recreate his family, which was defined as the Titans. Sure, he wants to actually bring all his friends together again... but there is this little problem.
(Cut to a clip of The Empire Strikes Back)
Hologram of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness): He's more machine now than man.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): And that's basically it. His programming tells him to bring together all the Titans, but it has no way of distinguishing them; hence, why he collected members of the 1996 Teen Titans, even though he had never met them.
Linkara: Yeah, what these guys don't realize is that in the next room, the cast of Remember the Titans are right alongside several voice actors from Zeta Gundam.
Linkara (v/o): Cyberion took the moon because he's still trying to recreate the giant Technis planet that we saw in "The New Titans", not realizing that he's, well, kind of dooming mankind.
Linkara: (stroking chin in thought) Although, losing the moon in Space: 1999 didn't seem to hurt the Earth. Maybe we could let them borrow it.
Linkara (v/o): They discover a central processing unit that they suspect houses Cyborg's consciousness or humanity and get to work freeing all the other Titans from the virtual reality programs. The Flash is able to make contact with the JLA, and the group unites, although the JLA seem to mostly ignore the Titans or their attempts to explain what's going on.
Linkara: Oh, hey! My fans? (leans in close to camera, grinning) You like having your hearts broken? (giggles crazily)
Linkara (v/o): Donna Troy's virtual reality fantasy? She's in a white void playing with a virtual reality construct of her dead son. Nightwing finds her, says he's sorry, but it isn't real, and she just tearfully replies that she knows.
Linkara: (grinning evilly) You may begin crying your eyes out. Sometimes I am evil. (nods)
Linkara (v/o): With the remaining Titans free, Orion, brain trust that he is, opens fire on the CPU housing Cyborg's consciousness. The empaths and psychics in the group immediately feel the sensation of pain from it, and Beast Boy yells at them to knock it the hell off since their friend is in there. However, Superman states that everything they've seen seems to indicate that Cyborg's not really alive anymore, that at best he's a computer program. The world is in danger and they need to stop this thing. Kyle Rayner backs up Superman and asks Flash if he's coming. His response?
Flash: Vic isn't our enemy. He's a friend in trouble. He's practically family, and he needs our help. He needs the TITANS.
Linkara: Ooh, this is gon' get good! (holds up a bucket of popcorn and starts eating it)
Linkara (v/o): The Atom goes all Spock on us and they need to think of the needs of the many before the needs of the few. Flash is all, "Screw that, I liked Star Trek III better than Star Trek II, and I'm helping my family!" Beast Boy argues that if he was just a program, he couldn't react to them the way he is. He also says, in no uncertain terms, that if they try to hurt him again, he'll stop them.
Orion: I believe the Earth saying goes: you and what army?
Beast Boy: (the Titans at his back) THIS one!
(As a snippet of Nightwish's "Over the Hills and Far Away", to emphasize how awesome it is, the word "AWESOME" appears on the screen to an explosion of fire)
Linkara (v/o): I cannot express enough how much I fricking love this comic and this page in particular. As a critic, all I can think of is, why are they this close to each other? But that part is being buried under all the awesome personified in this! Phil Jimenez, like George Perez, is an artist who is most comfortable and most talented when they're drawing hundreds of characters on a page. The characters all have distinct personalities and looks, the attention to detail is excellent, and this is also the first time all the Titans – the living ones, at least – are all on one page together.
Linkara: If I had the power, I would take this image and blow it up so it was big enough to put on a wall in my apartment. I love it that much!
Linkara (v/o): What follows are 17 pages of fight scene, with several Titans facing one or two JLA members at a time. Cyberion uses holographic technology to create a battle environment for the groups, of course favoring the Titans over the JLA. I won't cover it in detail, because honestly, it's so good you need to read it for yourselves. It's another example of Phil Jimenez's talents as an artist, as he manages to cram a lot into these pages, and it all feels perfectly natural. Hell, on the bottom of the pages, we see the probes recruiting various individuals to assist the Titans from their history to come to their aid. There isn't actually a battle between Nightwing and Batman, just the two of them debating each other, which is probably for the best. I can't actually think of a time when the two have ever really had an all-out fight with one another. Occasionally, one has hit the other in a moment of passion, but never a full fight. However, it turns out this whole thing has in fact been a diversion by the JLA against Cyborg. He's so preoccupied with helping the Titans in the fight that his defenses have been lowered both on the ground and on the moon. As such, Nightwing gathers together a group of Titans – the originals of himself, Troia, Arsenal, Tempest and Flash – to go up to the moon and see if they can get his attention, while they deconstruct the Earth-based CPU safely. Beast Boy, spotting what's happening, stows away to help.
Linkara: Although, when you stop and think about it, that doesn't really make any sense. They've admitted that Cyborg's consciousness – or rather, his soul – is inside of that collection of orange egg things, so... why are they going to the moon to make contact with him?
Linkara (v/o): Batman stops the fight just as both the Titans' reinforcements and the JSA arrive. Since all the heroes are now gathered in one place, they can be dispatched throughout the globe to deal with all the disasters that are still happening. Issue 3 begins with another task force going to the moon to keep it from, you know, being pulled away from the planet, while yet another team heads back into the JLA watchtower to try to deconstruct the object itself. The Titans arrive within the construct and wonder how to get Cyborg's attention. Arsenal has the brilliant idea of firing an explosive arrow at a wall!
Linkara: It's Roy Harper's great decision-making ability that we see demonstrated here that would eventually lead to him listening to a zombie ghost of his daughter that tells him to do drugs, kill people, and burn things!
Linkara (v/o): Naturally, this does get Cyborg's attention, and he separates the group. Back on Titans Island, we get some exposition about why the hell the Titans are up on the moon and not trying to talk to the orange egg things. Raven says that...
Raven: ...Victor's soul has retreated after Orion's barrage.
Linkara: (shrugs) What? Don't your computers have a backup system that has all the data immediately transferred to another location (makes a smashing motion) if you smash it with an axe?
Linkara (v/o): They need to try to repair the egg things, because if they can reach Cyborg, they need to put him somewhere that's not, you know, all around the moon, and hey, if this thing was working on it before, it should work again, right? Unfortunately, it's severely damaged, and they're not sure if they're going to be able to do it in the short time they have.
Linkara: Hey, need another reminder why I love superhero comics more than TV shows and movies?
Linkara (v/o): Okay, get this: during this era, Wonder Woman's invisible plane is actually a kind of magic, malleable goop that she can form into shapes. As such, she and Kyle Rayner use it and the Green Lantern ring to construct a net around the moon to grab hold of it, and with the help of every superpowered hero of the DCU, PUSH THE MOON BACK INTO ITS PROPER ORBIT!
Linkara: (impressed) You just can't top that! Maybe like Guerin Login or something, but my friends, pushing the moon back into its orbit while it's netted up, with willpower and invisible plane goop! THIS IS WHAT SUPERHERO COMICS SHOULD BE ALL ABOUT!
Linkara (v/o): The Titans each have an encounter with Cyborg in various forms, and all try to reach him, but none of them seem successful – except for Beast Boy, who has his own unique way of getting his attention...
Beast Boy: HEY, RUST-BUCKET! Let go of the frickin' MOON already, will ya?!
Linkara: I want that on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt or something. "Hey, rust-bucket! Let go of the frickin' moon already, will ya?!"
Linkara (v/o): Beast Boy makes his speech to Cyborg, which I will spare you, the gist of which being, "Come back, ol' buddy." When it's clear he's not going to get him back, he asks who can convince him to come back, and an image of Cyborg's father appears. This is enough to wake the guy up, and Raven directs his soul towards the Titans Island CPU. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a problem. See, without Cyborg to keep everything under control, the entire structure around the moon completely destabilizes, including the atmosphere for the Titans. Whoops. The space debris starts floating away, and while the Titans join hands to keep together, the JLA gets to work dealing with all the giant pieces of flotsam. To make matters worse, the island CPU is too badly damaged to hold his soul in its entirety. Raven temporarily houses it with her powers, though it won't last long. The Titans spot the Omegadrome and try to get control to make something to survive in. Unfortunately, Cyborg is still pyschically connected to it, so they can't gain control of it. Omen teleports in... Where the hell have you been, Lilith? ...and informs the group of the situation with Cyborg's soul. Beast Boy suggests taking the Omegadrome back to Earth since he's still connected to it, but because of its size, she can't teleport it and all of the others back to Earth. Nightwing orders Beast Boy to go with, and they succeed, funneling Cyborg into the Omegadrome, which forms into a new golden body for him.
Linkara: First Raven, and now Cyborg. What is with people on this team getting reborn in shiny new gold forms?
(Cut to a shot of Donna Troy in another comic)
Linkara (v/o): Hell, this kind of happened to Donna Troy one time, too!
(Cut back to the JLA/Titans comic)
Linkara (v/o): With the likelihood that they're going to die, the Titans say their farewells to each other, and it's all very touching. Good thing we got Kyle Rayner to help with that, who shows up and saves them. To be fair, though, he was the only one in the the JLA who remembered, "Oh, crap! The Titans are still in there!" And so, our comic ends with an epilogue featuring the Titans and JLA having a party in Guy Gardner's bar. We even see all of Dick Grayson's love interests or admirers talking it up. I really hope Mirage doesn't bring up that she's actually slept with him. We even get to see a hinting at the next generation of teen heroes and how they'll become Young Justice.
Linkara: And so, aside from me having to summarize and condense a whole bunch, (closes comic and holds it up) that's "The Technis Imperative", my absolute favorite comic book of all time.
Linkara (v/o): Despite the fact that this is not an event comic, it is the book that I hold as the standard which I compare all event comics to. Think about it. Like an event comic, it has a cast of hundreds, the stakes and effects are global, and it does have lasting consequences after it finishes. But what makes it better than every other event comic ever published? NOBODY DIES!! No heroes pointlessly killed off; no grand, epic last stands that get reversed a year later; and no gruesome, gory demises!
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who)
The Doctor: Just this once, everybody lives!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): Hell, we actually have negative-one deaths! Cyborg as a character was pretty much dead until this, so he's brought back from the brink. The moral dilemma is a good one, and the ones who have split loyalties go their natural ways for their characters. We see superheroes fighting, but for completely logical reasons. We see superheroes fighting off natural disasters and using their powers for good. There's great dialogue, great action, and despite having, like, forty or fifty people all competing for attention, no one feels wasted! This book is why I scoff at the idea that decades of continuity can be a problem for incoming readers. I didn't know who 99% of these people were when I first read it, and yet it fits in all that continuity briefly enough so you know what's going on without feeling overwhelmed by it. When I finished this book, I wanted to know more about the team. I wanted to find these past stories and read them because they sounded so damn awesome! You can say this book is continuity porn, but it does it in the best way: it makes you want to read what came before, and that is how you get new comic book readers, by making them want to read more.
Linkara: With the success of "The Technis Imperative" would come the book that I've been leading up to this entire time. Come back next week as we discuss the first 25 issues of my favorite comic series, "The Titans".
TO BE CONTINUED
(End credits roll)
If you're wondering why I keep referring to him as "Beast Boy" when during this era he was called "Changeling," it's because more people recognize him as Beast Boy and the constant name changes can get confusing for people. Hell, right now he's Beast Boy again.
If Gandalf had been a Titan, he would have been reborn as Gandalf the Gold.
(Stinger: The panel showing the pointy-shouldered Batman is shown again)
Linkara (v/o): (as Batman) Alfred, I need more starch for my shoulder spike thingies!