Teen Titans #31 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 2/10
Corrina: A Brutal Issue. Not the Right Tone For This Series. As Usual.
Ray: Maybe the worst thing about this misbegotten run is the way it takes good characters from other books and hollows them out, leaving crass and unlikable versions that make it harder for other writers to build on a strong foundation. That’s the case for most pre-existing members of the team like Damian and Emiko, but it’s also true for guest-stars and villains – and it’s never truer than it is for Teen Titans #31‘s big player, Lobo. Lobo may be a 90s antihero, but he’s been given some real shading over the years – never more so than in Steve Orlando’s underrated Justice League of America run over the last few years. His friendship with characters like Ryan Choi and his reluctant arrangement with Batman were fascinating – and they’re all out the window in this issue, which turns him not just into an unrepentant killer, but a sadistic child abuser with no instincts but evil. The tone is very clear from the start when he cruelly kills a target who is a refugee from a hive-mind, rather than a criminal.
The plot in Teen Titans #31, such as it is, involves Lobo arriving on Earth because he got a contract from The Other to take out the Teen Titans and found out that his daughter is among them. He’s back to factory settings, so his only thought is to track down Crush and kill her so he’s once again the last Czarnian.
You guys remember Stupid Sexy Lobo from the New 52? This version is actually making me miss him. There’s little to the issue beyond Lobo easily dispatching one Teen Titan after another in between delivering a sadistic beatdown to an outmatched Crush. Bernard Chang draws a great fight scene, but the way Lobo is easily able to take out Djinn stretches belief.
However, the biggest problem with this issue is that it’s essentially torture porn as Crush gets her leg broken, gets batted around like a cat playing with a mouse, and eventually flatlines in Wallace’s arms to end the issue. After the horrid treatment of this team’s Arab and Asian members, spending an entire issue watching a teenage lesbian get beaten nearly to death seems about right.
Corrina: Glass hasn’t adjusted his tone from the Suicide Squad–everyone’s faults are emphasized, all the action is brutal, and there’s no sign of affection between these characters.
Lobo just makes it all worse. I’d rate this comic age-inappropriate, save it’s really inappropriate for any reader, no matter the age.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.