The New Teen Titans #9
Published and © by DC, July 1981
Title: “Like Puppets on a String!”
Synopsis: With half the team under the control of the Puppeteer, the Teen Titans must battle … each other!
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: George Pérez
Inker: Romeo Tanghal
Review: A confession: Growing up, this reviewer hated toy-themed villains: Toyman, Puppet Master and this Green Lantern B-lister, the Puppeteer. There was something about these characters – an innate silliness, perhaps – that made suspension of disbelief difficult. Their power set also didn’t seem like enough of a challenge for our heroes, and that’s the case here. There are a few nice character moments and decent action sequences, but this done-on-one tale from the classic Titans team of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez feels disposable. And that’s a step down from a typical issue of The New Teen Titans.
Cool factor: That’d be the Titans.
Not-so-cool factor: That’d be the Puppeteer.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 15p British variant of this issue.
A word from the writer/co-creator: “(Issue #9) exists to introduce a number of strong character arcs that would take years to culminate.” – Marv Wolfman, from the “Foreword” to “The New Teen Titans Archives: Volume 2,” 2004
Character quotable: “Attacked by toys! This is insane! I’ll put up with it no longer!” – Starfire, who also dislikes toy-themed villains
Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Sequential Reaction (Vol. 1) on March 1, 2016.