Teen Titans #37 – Adam Glass, Bernard Chang, Writers; Bernard Chang, Layouts; Scott Hanna, Finishes; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: We had an unexpected creative shift in Teen Titans #37, as Adam Glass dips from the series a little early and hands over co-writing duty to artist Bernard Chang.
The difference can definitely be felt, as much of this issue seems like it’s trying to put the team back together. The problem is, Glass’ run has sunk these characters so low that a lot of the developments can’t be papered over with brief apologies, inspiring speeches, and hugs. Controlled by Lobo, Crush has betrayed her team to The Other, and the team is brought before the mysterious mastermind that has been haunting them over the entire run. His identity is finally revealed – as the Heretic, the flawed clone of Damian Wayne who murdered him in the Morrison run.
The character’s design has been sanded down a bit – he’s no longer a hulking beast with a freaky baby face, but an overly tall Damian clone with a much worse attitude. Well, maybe a slightly worse attitude.
This is definitely a slight improvement from the run overall, but so many elements of this issue feel like they’re taken from stock comics. The Other tries to turn Damian to the dark side, but Damian resists. I am glad to see Damian is back to being a little jerk rather than a sadistic supervillain again.
Emiko and Wallace are able to break Lobo’s programming over Crush through the power of friendship. Some of the dialogue in this scene is cringey, but I will say these three are the only characters I’ve really warmed to over the run and there are some nice moments.
The worst scene is easily the one where Roundhouse, who betrayed the team after finding out that Robin was directly responsible for his twin sister’s death, gets a pep talk from his mom and decides to save the day. Given what he did to Djinn, it’s hard to feel like he’ll be welcomed back – but then Damian really doesn’t deserve forgiveness either. Resurrections are never easy, but finding a way to bring back Roundhouse’s sister may be the best way to fix this mess.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.