Teen Titans #30 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Hi-Fi, Colorists
Ray – 3/10
Corrina: Damian Is a Villain
Ray: In the aftermath of The Terminus Agenda, which saw Damian’s secret prison exposed to the team and Deathstroke assassinated by Red Arrow, the team is left to pick up the pieces in Teen Titans #30. They’re also left back in the hands of their usual writer with no assist from Priest, so the issue – essentially one nasty argument over how to handle the fallout – is about as good as you can expect from this latest misfire of a take on the Teen Titans. When we pick up, Emiko is casually mopping up Deathstroke’s blood while Damian and Wallace try to get her to talk about her decision. She sees nothing wrong with what she did, taking killing more casually than Damian ever did. What happened to the quick-witted girl embracing normal life we saw in Percy’s run? I don’t know, but I don’t recognize this Emiko at all. Before they can sort out this issue, the three “Veterans” are confronted by the new kids, all of whom are outraged by this reveal.
I know the new kids do have legit gripes about being played by Damian as part of his twisted experiment, but I can’t take Roundhouse seriously. He’s zeroing in on Wallace for keeping this from him for…a few hours while they were battling escaped villains? It’s just another piece of evidence that Roundhouse is in no way built for this game. Djinn has a more firm moral objection, and Damian’s claims that his prison is some sort of reformatory fall flat – we all saw him torturing these villains. Djinn’s comments ring true but would be a lot more effective if we hadn’t seen her casually engage in body horror against villains in this run if they pushed the wrong button. Crush is more consistent and remains probably the most engaging character in the run, but the issue as a whole seems to be an unpleasant group therapy session until Crush loses her temper – just in time for dear old dad to show up for a brawl. A Crush-centric arc with Lobo could be fun, but I won’t hold my break for this book rebounding.
Corrina: Sometimes runs are just awful but you can ignore them. But sometimes runs engage in changing a character fundamentally and that sticks for all future appearances. That’s my concern here with Damian and Emiko. Yes, the story isn’t good and the arguing is unpleasant and not entertaining.
But my worry is that this is how DC views Damian Wayne now. Not the boy who went through a year of making amends and confronted his past as a trained assassin so he could move onto being a hero. No, we have a sociopath who only sees a way to accomplish his goals, when the point of being a hero is not the ends but the means,
Like prisons of solitary confinement. Like murder. All bad means that lead to a villain, not a hero.
Toss in the complete rewriting of a promising character in Emiko Queen, and this may be one of the worse DC issues in recent memory, only just behind the story that had Damian believing Jason was a traitor and Jason beating Damian severely because…reasons.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.