Monday, May 25, 2009
1982 - X-Men Versus the New Teen Titans!
Uncanny X-Men and the New Teen Titans #1
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Walter Simonson
Finisher: Terry Austin
As a comic book fan in 1982, you just couldn't ask for anything more. While the Justice League of America and the Avengers were caught in a spiral downwards in terms of quality and talent, the X-Men and New Teen Titans were quickly making their mark in comic book history. Both titles shared a lot of similarities: a young core of rookie heroes each struggling with their own degrees of teenage angst, great writing, fabulous artwork, solid character development, and fine storytelling.
With the individual success of each title, it wasn't long before both Marvel and DC realized that they could make even more money by publishing a crossover issue. But neither side cheaped out. While it seemed to be an issue creatively directed from a Marvel perspective, it certainly didn't show in the final product. X-Men writer, Chris Claremont was called upon to write this issue and needs to be given some real credit for this issue. I also collected the New Teen Titans at that time and was really impressed at how Claremont handled the Titans. Not only does he faithfully portray both teams, but he also handles their interaction very well, particularly the flirting between Kitty and Changeling.
Let's not forget Walter Simonson and Terry Austin who provide the art. They successfully captured the look and feel of both teams. Simonson's dynamic art is just a pure pleasure to take in.
The story is as follows. Darkseid sets into motion a plan to recreate the Dark Phoenix by tapping into the memories of her former teammates, as well as drawing the residue of her power from a variety of sources. Despite their best efforts, each team is defeated and captured by Deathstroke the Terminator and Darkseid's shock troops. Darkseid brings the Dark Phoenix back to life. Both super teams work together and free themselves and take Darkseid, Dark Phoenix and Deathstroke in a climatic battle. Professor X and Cyclops convince Dark Phoenix that she's being manipulated and she sacrifices herself to deal with Darkseid.
Claremont courageoulsy defies tradition by filling an unbalanced basket of guest stars and Walt Simonson's first-rate pencils contribute to the finest Marvel/DC co-production.
- The Slings and Arrows Comic Guide