Teen Titans #20 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 3/10
Ray: Coming off the disastrous Teen Titans Special last month, it would be hard for this series to get any worse. It’s definitely not worse – but it’s still the furthest thing from a good take on the Teen Titans. The majority of complaints with that issue were the awful takes on the three main established characters, and those largely continue this issue, although there’s a major saving throw attempted with one of them. As the issue opens, Brother Blood is getting up to his usual sadistic cult operations when the new Teen Titans burst in to stop him. These action scenes are spliced with flashbacks showing how Damian recruited his former allies to the team, and it’s Emiko and Wally who really get the short end of the stick this issue. Both of them have been boiled down to their worst character traits. Emiko is nasty, short-tempered, and intense to the point of being a caricature, as opposed to the sarcastic but heroic teenager Percy established. Wally, meanwhile, has become a social-media obsessed fame-hog who wants to turn the Teen Titans into viral video sensations. I’m not sure where that came from but certainly not from Williamson’s run.
There are also a trio of new team members who reminded me way too much of the notorious Lobdell run. The most-hyped of the trio is Crush, Lobo’s half-Czarnian daughter who apparently lost her adoptive parents at some point and is now carrying a blood grudge against her father and mainly likes to break everything in sight. Roundhouse, an overweight teenager who can turn himself into a living cannonball, is Kid Flash’s online friend and seems like he’s going to be the comic relief of the series, but the problem is…he’s not funny. He provides some slapstick comedy in the middle of an overly serious issue. Teenage supernatural being Djinn is the most intriguing of the three, an immortal power thousands of years old that still seems to think she’s fourteen or so. I hope the series will do some interesting things with her, but I’m skeptical. The issue ends with revealing that Damian is kidnapping villains and keeping them in a top-secret prison, including Black Mask who he apparently killed. So he’s not a killer (good) but he’s a mad jailer who’s working against his father’s principles behind his back (not good). It may be a slight step up from last month’s special, but it’s still one hell of a mess.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.