Back Issue #122 October 2020 (magazine review).

As you can see from the cover of Back Issue # 122, it is 40 years since ‘The New Teen Titans’ hit the scene. In his introduction, its writer Marv Wolfman points out the problems of relatable with the earlier teams and it took a while for him and editor Len Wein to convince their publisher Jenette Kahn that the third version would be successful, helped along when artist George Perez entered the mix. Part of this orientation was making it less a team book and more family.

I’m less sure about Glen Cadigan’s ‘The 40 Greatest Moments Of The New Teen Titans’. I’m familiar with first 25 years and pointing out things out of order means a lot of jigsawing. I’m still wondering why Danny Chase and Adrian Chase aka The Vigilante were given the same surname. Considering how much of the Titans’ stories ae done as story blocks, I think it might have worked better in chronological order and act as a proper history which TwoMorrows are famous for.

There are personal histories of Raven and Starfire as well as a glorious art section.

From there, Andy Mangels looks at the use of the Titans in the media. Not always successfully and its interesting seeing one version by Filmation giving all four team members red tops. You do have to wonder if they had a surplus of red paint. With the new team, Starfire gets a more complete costume for modesty although I suspect it also made it easier to animate and paint when you compare to Cyborg who had a similar colour cover-up. Of course, we all know Cyborg became the breakout character moving over to the Justice League in animation and films.

Brian Martin has a more intense look at the Protector character. Largely created as a Robin substitute as he was being used by another company and used with an emphasis for the American drug awareness program of the 1980s.

Obviously the real nugget is ‘George Pérez: Farewell Dinner At The East Coast Comic Con’ with a selection of comicbook talent and selected fans there for a Q&A afterwards. There’s a lot of interesting revelations that you will have to read for yourself. One thing I was glad to read that Perez isn’t totally giving up drawing, just deadlines because he can’t work as fast and needs some magnification. I met George back in the 1980s and I heartily concur he’s a nice man.

Although I don’t normally mention the letters section, this time there are a lot of answers given to questions that you might have wanted to know about the infra-structure to making ‘Back Issue’. You aren’t going to miss this issue, are you?

GF Willmetts

October 2020

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US))

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