Review – Teen Titans #21: Gizmo Breaks Bad

Comic Books DC This Week
Teen Titans #21 variant cover, credit to DC Comics.

Teen Titans #22 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist

Ray – 6/10

Ray: The Teen Titans relaunch picks up a tiny bit in its third issue, as we get to know a few of the team members better and they face a challenge with some more complexity. That challenge comes in the form of Gizmo, a z-list villain best associated with the Fearsome Five. The dwarf tech-genius is generally a low-level supervillain, and he’s apparently hung it up altogether and become a toy seller. Robin isn’t buying it, convinced that Gizmo is actually running a weapons ring out of his store, so he assigns the Titans to burst in and arrest him. This could have been a very awkward day at the toy store for a lot of families, but of course Robin is right. After a brief battle and a lot of showboating from Kid Flash and new team member Roundhouse (who narrates the issue and gives his assessment of his team members) they successfully knock out Gizmo and are ready to apprehend him. There’s just one problem – the tiny supervillain has apparently wired himself to explode and is ready to take out at least a few city blocks.

Gizmo the toyseller? Credit to DC Comics.

After the generic battle, things get a little more interesting as the focus shifts to defusing the bomb. Too many of the characters are still one-note – Robin and Red Arrow battle to out-grim each other (what happened to the snarky, loveable teenager from Ben Percy’s Green Arrow run?), Kid Flash is a sarcastic viral video star, Crush likes to yell and smash things – but the one exception to this problem is Djinn. The most mysterious member of the Teen Titans turns out to actually be what she’s advertised as – an ancient being who can be controlled by a mysterious ring. She’s currently a free Djinn, but that limits her power, and she’s forced to make a dramatic sacrifice to gain full access to her powers. A very different kind of sacrifice is made by Roundhouse, but that one’s unlikely to stick. This issue has far and away the best plot of the three issues so far, but it’s still a long way from being a good book. A team book can’t succeed if only a few members of the team are remotely likable or interesting.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

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