Teen Titans #18 – Benjamin Percy, Writer; Scot Eaton, Penciller; Wayne Faucher, Inker; Jim Charalampidis, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Art Looks Fantastic
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: Ben Percy’s final arc (and the final arc of the title branded as Teen Titans) focuses on Beast Boy, as he struggles to find a place where he belongs and falls in with a rather disturbed group of teens looking to escape reality. Teen Titans #18 opens with a flashback to his origins, only in this version he doesn’t get bitten by the green monkey – his parents save him, and he lives happily ever after. As he lives through other happy memories, both real and imagined, he wakes up and is fully on board with the plan of his new friend Joran to release the new app Pixie, allowing everyone to live in their own personal fantasyland. Joran comes off as an interesting character, a genuine misfit who created a way to escape her own reality and is now looking to share it with the world. Of course, this being comics, things are rarely as benign as they come off at first. I just wish it wasn’t quite so telegraphed.
Part of the problem of this issue is that while Joran may be the villain of this storyline, she’s also genuinely a lot kinder to Beast Boy than most of his teammates, especially Damian. The rest of the team is back at the base investigating the kid who drives a school bus to near-doom last issue, and they find links to Pixie, which leads them to go undercover in Joran’s debut performance. Sure enough, they run into Beast Boy (although if they’re trying to be inconspicuous, why did they bring Starfire, who is neither a teenager nor inconspicuous?). And once again, the biggest problem in this run is Damian. He continues to be verbally abusive and insulting to Beast Boy, who has been doing the superhero thing for years and with some of Damian’s brothers, and sure enough, basically baits Beast Boy into a trap. The cliffhanger is predictable, turning Joran into a one-note villain, and overall solid characterization for Beast Boy is lost in an iffy plot.
Corrina: I’d hoped Joran would turn out to be a good person using a misguided technology that backfired without her knowing it. Some of the most interesting characters in Titans history have been misunderstood rather than evil (like Frances Kane or even Raven herself), and I’d hoped this is what was happening with Joran.
But, instead, the minute the Titans show up asking questions, she flips the switch and takes complete control of Gar and the rest of the audience. That’s disappointing and flushes any subtlety in this storyline down the drain.
This group of Titans has always been an uneasy mix of Titans from several eras but I’m still disappointed that the writing on the title hasn’t been able to make the team work as well as it could.
However, the art on this issue, as you can see from above, is first-rate.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.