Teen Titans #38 – Adam Glass, Writer; Bernard Chang, Layouts; Scott Hanna, Finishes; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: Teen Titans #38 is the last issue of this run before Djinn War kicks off to close it out, and the title seems to have improved a bit – but it’s still bogged down by massive characterization issues. Last issue saw the Other unmasked as the evil Heretic, Damian Wayne’s misshapen clone.
He’s offering Damian a chance to save Djinn from limbo if he joins him in evil. It’s a typical devil’s bargain, and Damian is smart enough to not take it. He travels inside the ring to communicate with Djinn thanks to the cursed book the Other holds, and reunites with her to learn if he should take the deal. This title almost seems to be creating something real out of Damian and Djinn, but I still think she had more chemistry with Crush. The best scene in Teen Titans #38 comes with Damian’s reveal as to why he can’t take the deal, but I feel like it would have landed better if we hadn’t seen Damian take seven different leaps off the slippery slope over the course of this run.
While Damian’s characterization seems to have taken a turn for the better over this issue, I can’t really say the same about the other major players.
Roundhouse’s return to the team as he tries to help them escape falls flat because it seems like his apology for betraying them, trying to kill them, and sending Djinn into a living hell comes off more like a kid apologizing for being a dick to his friends.
None of the major elements in this series – Damian being a torturer, Damian getting a teenage girl killed, Roundhouse betraying the team – are treated with nearly the gravity they should be. Ultimately, the team escapes the Other and is on to their next battle – against Djinn’s evil brother Elias, now some sort of demon gang lord/gambler. This run has been a mess and hasn’t really given us any characters to pull for, which is a mistake a teen book can’t make if it wants to connect with its audience.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.