Or – “It’s Always The Cute Ones…”
Megan Morse, also known as Miss Martian, has been something of an enigma among the Junior Justice League. Introduced during the “One Year Later” gap caused by 52, she has been pleasant, funny, bright and generally nice to be around. So, naturally, she’s a stone killer in disguise. Ever since it was revealed that she’s NOT one of J’onn J’onnz’ peaceful green Martians, but comes from the vicious line of white Martians, I’ve waited for her to grow fangs and try to eat people. After interacting with her own future self, and getting telepathically attitude adjusted, that day… has come!
Previously, on Teen Titans: The Titans have had a hard road to travel the last couple of years, including infighting, roster changes, failed relationships and old villains returning from the dead. After battling Deathstroke’s Titans East (a collection of foes and hangers-on, including several ex-Titans) and facing down Lex Luthor’s futuristic time-traveling Titans army, the kids have been beaten up pretty good over the last few months. Add to that Superboy and Kid Flash dying, Supergirl leaving the team, (she gets around, that girl) Robin and Wonder Girl having high school angst about kissing, Kid Devil’s realization that his soul is forfeit on his 20th birthday, and the all-out raging barrel of high-test crazy that is Ravager and you can figure out why the Titans haven’t been writing their thank-you notes of late. Last issue, the Clock King (?) returned, with his Terror Titans (???) in two, giving the team yet ANOTHER evil analogue of themselves to fight. But right now, we’re going to backburner that for a look at the mind of Miss Martian.
We start our festivities in the scenic desert outside Sedona, Arizona, a beautiful landscape of red rocks against endless acres of sand, the kind of place a Martian would find very homely… er, home-like. Megan floats in her ever-so-cute uniform (a cross between J’onn J’onnz harness and pirate boots gear and a schoolgirl outfit) thinking to herself. Of course, most of the time when a character does that, they don’t find themselves thinking back. The “voice” of her older self, riding piggyback in her mind, reminds Miss Martian that she still has to choose: Earth or Mars. The older Megan voice makes is clear that she intends to win, but Miss Martian screams “Just because you come from some possible future doesn’t mean that I’m not in control!!!” As she thinks those words, her world goes dark, and she hears “herself” asking, “Are you sure about that, M’Gann?”
When she opens her eyes, she’s in a filthy bathroom, with a strange man undoing his pants in preparation for… Well, let’s just say they ain’t playing Boggle. Megan freaks, as the man tells her it was HER idea, and that she even promised his friend a turn, but she just swats him away. We cut to the Clock King, in bed with Disruptor (and find that this issue takes place simultaenously with the last two, showing Kid Devil’s party at Titans Tower) as he reminds her that without his powersuit, she’s just another runaway. Disruptor will do anything to earn his adoration, and he assigns her to watch over Miss Martian. Another cut, as we see Megan starting her first day of high school (that was quick!) and arguing with herself over whether or not they’re the same person. Her older self talks about gaining her revenge, but Megan thinks of a field full of yippy puppy dogs, causing them to knock her evil counterpart down and lick her face into submission.
Megan’s high school infiltration is undone by her lack of I.D., papers, or even a school schedule, so that night she flies to Gotham City to ask for help from her team leader. Robin is (strangely) unwilling to help her fake documentation of her identity, and she gets angry, allowing her vicious inner voice to come forward, nearly morphing to her regular White Martian form in so doing. She blacks out again, and awakens hours later to find a manila envelope full of documents, including a passport, driver’s license, birth certificate and Social Security card, courtesy of her evil self. “I’m going to let your little fantasy roleplay accomplish that which I have not,” says evil Megan. “Which is to prove to you that humanity deserves nothing other than to exist beneath our HEEL.” In what is probably the first step down the road to hell, Megan sets off with good intentions, excited about the “fun” of high school. Her first class is interrupted by Disruptor, in full villain garb, killing her homeroom teacher. Megan leaps into battle, and they exchange blows, until Disruptor’s strange powers hit her full on, disrupting her shape changing abilities, and causing her evil self to split away, nearly growing it’s own body! She is forced to reabsorb herself (a pretty neat scene, actually) before being overwhelmed and waking in a dark room. She calls out into the dark, indicating that she can hear the thoughts of whatever is in the room with her, and out of the darkness comes the shambling, bloody form of… Kid Devil.
That last panel is really horrifying, with K.D. bleeding and wounded, obviously having been tortured within an inch of his life. This is a good issue, coming back up to speed after a run of not-so-great issues. The Teen Titans is one of the books most hurt by the One Year Later gap, but Sean McKeever seems to be returning the book to it’s roots: a story about a group of kids who just happen to be super-powered. The art this issue is quite good, with Carlos Rodriguez capturing both the sweet and evil sides of Miss Martian with equal aplomb. It’s not a perfect book, but it’s still a good ‘un, ranking an impressive 3 out of 5 stars. I’m glad to see Titans turning around, and I hope that Final Crisis doesn’t chuck another wrench in the works that will take another year to resolve.