Teen Titans #23 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Breakdowns; Richard Hanna, Finishes; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Corrina: Who Are These Guys?
Ray: As Teen Titans tries to find its groove under the new creative team of Adam Glass and Bernard Chang, it’s zigzagging from plot to plot in a way that often feels disorienting. Part serialized adventure, part episodic villain-of-the-week story, it parcels out information about its heroes sparingly. Last issue revealed that Roundhouse, the fanboy superhero who seemed to die in the team’s second story, was still alive. But we don’t pick up there – we pick up with the seeming assassination of James Gordon, something we’re given zero buildup to.
Now, I’m not worried about Jim for a second, given that this isn’t even Gordon’s primary book, but it’s certainly a dramatic way to begin the issue. After seeing “Jim” get his brains blown out, we cut to Roundhouse’s home, where we find out from his interactions with Wally Jr. that he crash-landed after the explosion, had to make his way home, and proceeded to get grounded for being missing so long.
The idea of some reality sneaking into a teen superhero’s life is interesting – it’s been dealt with well in books starring Robin and Spider-Man – but Roundhouse is barely a character so far, more just a jokey fanboy who tags along. Crush is sort of similar – she’s gruff and likes to beat people up, that’s her only character traits.
Then there’s Djinn, who is sort of becoming the main character of this run aside from Damian. She narrates this issue, and it turns out that she’s the one who was impersonating Gordon. She can take a bullet with ease, and her powers are magnified by her bond with Robin. This whole thing involving Robin essentially bonding a powerful ancient being to him – consensually, but still weird – is undoubtedly going to end very badly for one or both of them. A showdown with Lady Vic provides some action, and a few lines of dialogue are clever. The title’s improving, but it’s improving from the absolute bottom. It doesn’t work as a Teen Titans team. But hey, Young Justice is only a few months away.
Corrina: Everything seems so random with this team of Titans. Nothing seems to flow from who they are and what they want to be. Instead, it all flows from plots seemingly plucked from various corners of the DCU but not having much to do with the Titans at all. I”m not sure why a plot against JIm Gordon was needed, given his tenuous connection to Damian. It doesn’t shed any light on Damian’s personality or add insight to Damian’s bond with Djinn.
The new Titans seem one-note. Djinn provides insight into her powers but not herself. Crush, um, crushes things. And that’s about the level of depth for any of them.
DC still seems to be unable to find a way to make a Teen Titans team interesting. I hope they do better with Young Justice.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.