Skis Of Death!
What’s the story?
While on a ski trip to the native American owned Medicine Mountain resort the Teen Titans find themselves investigating the mysterious disappearance of the local ski instructor’s class. Aided by the ski instructor, Eddie Tallbow, the team discover the events are being orchestrated by Anson Larson, a restaurant owner who is chief creditor of the resort, intends to sell the land to the government for use as a missile site after the owners declare bankruptcy. After being defeated and captured our young heroes narrowly escape death while strapped into a runaway bobsled before turning the tables on Larson and his gang.
What are our issues?
While the Gil Kane and Nick Cardy art is stunning the story is very simple and of it’s time. There are no costumed villains and threat is mild compared to what was to come for the Titans in the 80s. It has the feel of a Scooby Doo episode with the criminal being the kindly old man we meet at the start and his scheme is all about land ownership which is oddly similar to Superman The Movie.
The four heroes in the story all get their moment to shine but do exactly what is expected of them. Robin is the detective, Wonder Girl displays her strength, Kid Flash runs fast and Speedy shoots things with his arrows.
Our heroes are proficient at what they do but are easily overpowered by regular thugs and the whole thing is resolved by punching someone in the face. However, some of the dialogue they use you would not be able to get away with today.
As comics tend to do, this issues sets out to tackle social issues but it is all done heavy-handedly. The Native Americans are referred to as ‘Indians’, ‘Injuns’ and ‘Redskins’ and they call the Titans ‘palefaces’. There is a lot of casual racism thrown about but the locals aren’t portrayed as weak and help to save the day.
There are a couple of extras of note in this issue.
First there is this advert for the first episode of Sesame Street – a show that is still running.
There is also this letter in the back that has been sent in by Klaus Janson who went on to work in the comic book industry and was the inker on the classic Dark Knight Returns.
Overall the issue is an interesting time capsule but is in no way ground-breaking.