Teen Titans #27 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Penciller; Cam Smith, Inker; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Corrina: Relationship Triangle Is Not Working
Ray: Coming off the disastrous annual, Teen Titans #27 is a marked improvement. But one-third of a good comic doesn’t make for a good comic, and the story overall still suffers from bad plotting and some very unlikable characters. This issue splits the cast into three pairs to deal with their lingering issues, and the best of the three stories pairs Crush and Red Arrow. Crush is still in a foul mood due to Djinn falling for Robin, and Emiko takes it upon herself to show the young Czarnian some healthier ways to deal with her anger and stress. It’s maybe a bit pat, but this is the only segment where the characters feel like friends. Actual friends Kid Flash and Roundhouse are saddled with a much weaker plot, as Wallace heads off to dinner with Roundhouse and his overprotective mother. This plot is actively cringe-worthy, with Mrs. Wu making offensive comments like asking Wallace if he likes Oprah, or talking down to her son about his heroic career.
The lingering subplot about Roundhouse’s late sister gets some more teases – she died in the same accident that gave Roundhouse his powers – but the character just has not been given much of a personality between being alternately goofy and sad. And for a book that pokes fun at stereotypes, it’s sad that their “Asian mom” is such a stereotype herself.
The final plot involves Damian and Djinn as she heals him from the severe injuries Red Hood inflicted on him during their fight last issue. (So I guess the Bat-family just resolves issues by beating each other now?) To get him to open up, she finally shares the truth about her origin. It’s a very dark tale that involves a Djinn rebellion and introduces Djinn’s evil brother who seeks to take control of the world from humanity. It also has some incredibly dark elements, including Djinn being forced by her brother to kill innocent children and then being used as a living weapon for a millennium. The disturbing tonal elements in this series are what consistently holds back any potential it might have.
Corrina: I think it’s safe for me to say that, after reading the bulk of Glass’ work with DC, that I do not enjoy his writing. The plotting is okay but the real issue is characterization, a problem with Suicide Squad, and even more so with a group of young heroes who should be sympathetic but instead feel almost as unheroic as the Squad.
Djinn needs to be a great character to pull her weight on the team but, instead, she’s given a background that sort of makes her a stand-in for Raven: Djinn was used to commit evil by family members and she’s worried she could do so again. There is a parallel here, as Damian was brainwashed into becoming a child assassin, while Djinn performed evil because she had no choice, but I’d need Djinn to be a more compelling character overall for this to completely work.
Crush and Red Arrow were fine though, the jealousy reaction is the most obvious and cliched reaction that Crush could have about Djinn’s need to talk to Damian. As for Wally and Roundhouse, this should be the sweet and silly part of the issue but it fell flat.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.