Teen Titans #22 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Corrina: Just When I Think Teen Titans Can’t Get Any Worse….
Ray: The troubled new run of Teen Titans moves forward in Teen Titans #22, packing a lot of development into only a few issues – but that’s not necessarily a good thing. There’s such a thing as moving too fast and robbing a major development of its meaning. That’s the case with the beginning of the issue. Last time, we saw new hero Roundhouse seemingly blow himself up along with Gizmo’s bomb, but I was sure it was your typical cliffhanger fakeout.
Nope, it’s been a week and he’s considered dead. Wally is in mourning, given that Roundhouse was his never-mentioned-before best friend. The issue begins with a flash-forward to a hostage situation the team is trying to broker, and we then cut to the odd way the team is dealing with their early tragedy. Kid Flash is angry, Crush is dismissive and cruel, and Red Arrow believes he died because they were too weak and forces them all into rigorous training. Djinn, as always, seems kind of spacey. Next thing you know, they’re all fighting each other in an elaborate training battle. And where’s Robin during all of this? Interrogating Black Mask in his secret underground prison.
He’s trying to get ahold of information about the man behind the man, a mysterious figure known as The Other. Black Mask doesn’t know much but trades what he has for some more privileges in the cell. This issue also reveals that Damian’s not working alone – he’s siding with Jason over his father when it comes to Jason’s recent actions, and Jason is also in on his secret prison protocol. I was very hard on Bruce for his actions in the recent Red Hood and the Outlaws issues, but this issue makes both Damian and Jason look worse – Jason didn’t just lose it over a very personal tragedy, he is conspiring with his younger brother to create a supervillain Gitmo. The larger plot involving Golden Glider and a rookie meta villain just trying to make ends meet seems to want to make a point about compassion for one’s enemies – except the team then chooses not to show any. The ending reveals the truth about what happened to Roundhouse – sort of? – and it has about as much impact as his “death”. The issue is we don’t know these characters, and those we do give us very little reason to want to spend time with them.
Corrina: Wait, wait, the Justice League is so worried about the regular Titans team, under Dick Grayson’s leadership, that they broke them up, then set a watcher on them.
Meanwhile, pre-teen Damian is keeping a supervillain chained up in the basement (possibly for torture), Jason is helping him, and the rest of the team is basically following that lead. So, I guess Dick is the only one who needs supervision. Because that makes sense.
As for the rest of the new Teen Titans, I can’t say any has made an impression on me thus far. I want to scream at Wally West: RUN. GET AWAY FROM THEM AS FAST AS YOU CAN. (Good advice for readers, too.)
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.