Teen Titans #17 – Benjamin Percy, Writer; Scot Eaton, Penciller; Wayne Faucher, Inker; Jim Charalampidis, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Beast Boy Is Gullible
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Following a crossover and a one-shot, Benjamin Percy returns to this title for what might be his final arc (the title is seemingly going on hiatus with the upcoming No Justice event in the Justice League line). And it’s a shame, because this issue showed some promise as the team deals with something almost every teenager can relate to at some point – that awkwardness of moving out. Of course, not every teenager just had their home blown up by a future evil version of their friend. With Titans Tower destroyed – again – no one’s taking it harder than Beast Boy, as he feels like nothing in his life lasts. While he goes off to clear his head, the rest of the team deals with a seemingly minor crisis – a school bus falling off a bridge – that turns out to be much more complicated. A bullied kid turns out to be possessed and takes control of the bus, leading to near-disaster.
The issue seems to want to address bullying, and it does an okay job, but Damian immediately going physical with a boy around his age who seems to be guilty of…taunting and shooting a spitball? seems a bit like an exaggeration. However, the bus disaster turns out to be tied into another plot, which is Beast Boy finding what seems like a second home, but is anything but. This group of technology-linked misfit runaways welcomes him, courtesy of their mysterious green-skinned leader, but what emerges is actually a combination of Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Matrix, as it becomes clear that they’re using tech to separate themselves from society and create their own reality. This issue has a mostly light touch that benefits it, but while it’s one of my favorite issues of the series, I think it accents the fact that this team never really worked as a unit – their best issue is the one where they’re barely together.
Corrina: I’m not sure this title ever worked in this incarnation, it being an amalgam of some classic Titans teams and new characters. DC would have been better off keeping the original Titans (Starfire, Gar, Raven) out and starting over with new Wally, Damian, new Aqualad, Emiko, and maybe coming up with a new hero, like Orlando’s reworking of Aztek in Justice League of America.
The classic Titans don’t work because they’re weirdly de-aged and separate from their histories and then the newcomers to the team never meshed. Priest did a much better job with his young team in Deathstroke. So what’s left? Not too much, even in this issue, especially since my problem is that I know little about this Gar. He should be old enough not to be so naive but then he’s been rebooted so many times that I can’t tell how old he is. Thus, I spent more time debating his age/experience and whether he’d be so impulsive as to put a strange implant inside his skull rather than paying attention to the story.
DC needs to do something different and original with it’s teen superheroes. Give a title like this to Priest. I’m sure he’ll come up with something.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.