Teen Titans #35 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 1/10
Ray: I’ve had a lot of problems with this Teen Titans run, ranging from the grim-and-gritty tone to the over-reliance on violence by and against teenagers. But the biggest problem has consistently been the characterization of Damian Wayne, who had his development seemingly reset to pre-reformation stage.
But Teen Titans #35 goes further and takes several turns that make Damian all but unreformable – and he’s not the only one. When we last left off, Roundhouse had betrayed the Titans and taken control of Djinn. It looked like he killed Emiko, but no – he’s just captured her. The issue opens with the comic-relief hero forcing Djinn to act out affection for Damian – something she wouldn’t do on her own after their past interactions – so she can capture him. He then rounds up the entire Titans to carry out his plan – exposing Damian as responsible for the death of Roundhouse’s sister Claire, caused by his reckless actions during a fight with Scarecrow last year.
Honestly, the actions and comments by Damian this issue are so bad it’s hard to see how it can be walked back. Not only did he recklessly cause the destruction of a building without checking if it was clear, he expresses very little regret for it and later tells Roundhouse that “I can forgive you”.
Naturally, that sends Roundhouse off the deep end and he does something truly monstrous, sending the team spiraling again. Was all this just a prelude for Crush to get angry enough at something that she’d quit the team and side with Lobo? That’s where it seems like we’re going. The characters who come off best here are Wallace and Emiko, mostly because they have very little to do.
Why was the team getting on Emiko’s case for assassinating a mass-murdering supervillain? These kids seem to be racking up the body counts and war crimes by the issue, and not only is there no one to root for, it’s getting harder to see Damian in other titles without being reminded of what a monster he is here.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.