Teen Titans #9
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Khoi Pham
So What Happened:
After the event of the Lazarus Contract, when Slade Wilson took advantage of New 52 Wally West and they fought in the Speed Force, Damian thought it was best to fire Wally for his recklessness, much to the teams disapproval. The team also receives a new team member as The second Aqualad joins the team.
What’s going on Now:
The Teen Titans have made headline news as they stopped King Shark and his mutant army from taking over Alcatraz Island. On screen with them is their newest member Jackson Hyde, the second Aqualad. Hyde’s mother is frantically trying to get hold off him via phone when she sees her son on the news in San Francisco. The sight of her son on worldwide television sends her into a mild panic, for a good reason.
We jumped to Jackson in a training session that involves a fight with a holographic Ra’s al Ghul in an alleyway. During the fight he almost kills him and causes Robin to stop the session and he informs Jackson that heroes don’t kill. He mentions that his hydrokinesis is sloppy and hands him a water bearer to help form water swords.
Meanwhile in near Central City, Kid Flash looking back at what’s happens in his life. Learning that his Dad is the New 52 Reverse Flash, surviving his race with Deathstroke in the Speed Force, and being kicked from the Teen Titan. Raven shows up to tell Wally that she and the others think Robin made a mistake. When Wally tells her that Slade offered him a spot in his new team, Defiance, Raven is shocked, but leaves telling Wally to follow his feeling.
Jackson’s mother wasn’t the only important figure to see him in the news. In the Pacific Ocean a dark vehicle is maneuvering through the depths. Black manta has made it to the playing field and wants Jackson for his plans.
Back at San Francisco near the fisherman’s wharf, people are at awe as they see Jackson walking on water (part of his hydrokinesis). His mother had booked a flight to San Fran and asked to meet him in town, to finally give him the answers he needs on who he is. As they meet up and sit in a nearby restaurant, Jackson begins to ask about his father, who he was and if he’s the reason Jackson can “talk to water”. His mother tells him to stay away from his father for he his nothing but evil and would kill them both if he knew about them. She then shows Jackson what he wanted to know why he can control water, she’s Atlantian. She also tells him that the other reason she hid him from his father is the necklace on him. Seconds later Starfire contacts Jackson, requesting backup. If you hadn’t put 2 and 2 together, Black Manta is Jackson’s father.
Over with Starfire, she is currently chasing two bank robbers with Beast Boy who turns into a T-Rex to stop the car. As they finish knocking out the robbers, talking on Robin’s leadership skills, Jackson arrives via sewer manhole. Beast boy makes a kicking remark on how he’s fast like Kid Flash, which pisses off Jackson realizing the hero business may not be what he wanted after all.
The issue closes off with Jackson’s mother walking along the shore looking towards Titans Tower. She is then attacked by Manta , who’s going for the kill.
What Just Happened:
Teen Titans #9 is the beginning of the “Blood of the Manta” story arc. This issue explored a bit into Jackson Hydes backstory, Raven and Kid Flash’s relationship, and how the team is in turmoil due to Robins cruel decision. The pacing of the story is great setting up a big revelation on Jackson’s true origin and his relationship with his Father, Black Manta. The story continues in issue 10.
The writing for Teen Titans has been phenomenal as always. The fact that we get Black Manta as the main villain for the arc is amazing and I like how DC has been doing that the past couple story arcs. My only issues have been 1) Damian Wayne aka Robin. For one I REALLY don’t like Damian, and his decision to kick Wally from the team is a pouring salt in the wound. 2) The art, which isn’t as bad as you’d think, but it makes certain characters look silly like Beast Boy and Robin. I’d prefer the art used the first issues of the series. Other than that the “Blood of the Manta” arc is off to a good start.