Teen Titans #26 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 3/10
Corrina: Damian As R’as?
Ray: This Teen Titans run has been troubled since the start, with none of its established characters really feeling like themselves. To a one, Damian, Emiko, and Wallace were all turned into grim-and-gritty caricatures of themselves. While new members Crush and Djinn show some promise, “comic relief” Roundhouse has been an annoyance since the start and last month’s addition of a dead sister didn’t help. This issue is probably the worst since the disastrous special, as the plots of the first few issues are picked back up and Damian decides to go after the traitor he believes sold the team out to the villains who nearly killed them in a building collapse – Red Hood, his secret mentor. Why Damian has become so convinced Jason has betrayed them, it’s not very clear but he’s sure enough that he takes his team into the Batcave to steal something from Bruce’s private collection.
There’s a lot of problems here, including the fact that the book doesn’t seem to know what to do with any members of the team besides Damian this issue. Emiko and Wallace are just there to snark, Crush is mostly in the background, Djinn literally disappears, and Roundhouse is suddenly a hacker who spends most of his time fanboying over the Batcave. Damian, meanwhile, is just toxic here. From the opening segment of the starving, bloodied villains trapped in his prison, it’s clear this kid is a psychopath and the book doesn’t seem to realize we have zero reason to root for him. The one character written well here is Alfred – tough but never less than totally human, as he tries to make Damian see reason and believe that there’s still some hope for Jason. Although I find it interesting that Bruce is apparently on the other side – didn’t he beat Jason within an inch of his life only a few months ago? This is just not a good book on any level, and it’s doing serious damage to Damian as a character.
Corrina: For a book about teen heroes (they should be heroes), this Teen Titans #26 is particularly joyless. The team seems to bicker like the Suicide Squad at times, while it makes no sense that Damian, as paranoid as he can be, would simply lead them into the Batcave, even as a distraction.
As for Damian keeping his own prison, complete with solitary confinement (widely recognized as a form of torture), it’s a horrible step back for the kid. Yes, Alfred points out that he’s behaving like his grandfather, R’as Al Ghul, so this might be an effective arc for Damian to come back to the light. That is, it would be, if we had any indication that the point is for Damian to come back to the light. I loved the kid who had a year-long quest to atone for what he’d done in his own title. I don’t recognize this toxic Damian who created his own prison and condemns Jason. This is as much of a misuse of the character as Dick Grayson/Nightwing in his title. Not a good year for Robins.
I guess the only saving grace is that this series seems to be canceled. What a waste.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.