Friday, September 10, 2010

Teen Titans #15

That this story was taking place in groove-tastic 1968 is pretty obvious when you take a gander at the splash page:

The Titans are trying to track down a teenage runaway named Ken Matthews. They check with a mystic named Eddie the Guru, who runs a place called the "Drop-Back-In Place". Via a scene change, we learn that Ken is working for a distinctly unhip guy named Tram the Trucker, delivering packages of stolen goods. A few moments later, Ken is caught by the police right in front of the Titans. Robin lets us know the coolness quotient of cop-lovers:

Just then, some bikers "blast the scene", picking fights with the hippies:

The Titans make short work of kayoing Captain Rumble and his buddies, but in the meantime, Ken has split and the Titans take on the task of finding out who's responsible for using runaways to deliver stolen goods. But since they don't fit in with the local freaks, they take on new identities and guises:

Good grief! I remember when I was a kid, the first time my mom used the word "cool" in a sentence. Even back then I knew that adults trying to be "with it" were about the least cool thing around.

There follow several sequences where Tram the Trucker's thugs are trying to track down poor Ken and his girlfriend, but the latter are always saved at the last minute by one of the Titans. Adding to the complications are the bikers, who get into the mix periodically. The story culminates at a huge "happening" where all three groups battle it out. Even the hippies get with the violence scene when provoked:

And in the end:

On the letters page, we learn that Dick Giordano is the new editor of Teen Titans, taking over for George Kashdan. Giordano promises a new direction, and this issue delivered it in spades. There are certainly some cringe-worthy moments, but that's the way it went even when Marvel went out of its way to be hip. It's odd, but these comics seem more dated than the button-down early-1960s' style books. The art by Nick Cardy (correction: Elias/Cardy as pointed out in the comments by Martin O'Hearn) is very pleasing and Bob Haney delivers a better than usual (if slightly padded) script.

Update: Blog into Mystery also covered this issue a couple months ago.


Snard said...

C'mon, no mention of the gratuitous "SPRANG!" sound effect from the guitar smash? :)

Martin O'Hearn said...

It's more obvious in the long shots than in the close-ups, but Nick Cardy merely inked this issue. (If "merely" is the proper word for any Cardy art!) Lee Elias pencilled it.

Pat said...

Snard, I caught it, but it doesn't fit with my Archie Goodwin theory about Sprang credits. :)

Good catch on the art, Martin. I'm a fan of Elias, but I would never have pegged him for this work.

John Platt said...

That's one agile hippie with the guitar smashing.

Mike Frank said...

I was twelve when this comic came out and coincidentally (not) this was the time when I stopped reading most of the main-line DC comics and made Marvel my comics of choice.

Jared - Blog into Mystery said...

Hey, I posted this comic on my blog a couple of months ago! And highlighted a lot of the same panels! Further confirmation that great minds think alike.

I couldn't get over the dialogue. Hepcats indeed.

rnigma said...

And I thought "Brother Power the Geek" was a goofy enough depiction of the flower power era....