Teen Titans Annual #2 – Robbie Thompson, Writer; Eduardo Pansica, Penciller; Julio Ferreira, Inker; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Ray: Despite this series ending in the coming issues, it feels like it’s going to have far longer-reaching consequences than many of the other recent runs. There are still three issues to go, but this annual feels like the series finale in a lot of ways. That’s because it’s the conclusion to the long-running subplot of Damian Wayne’s self-destruction – and if you’re expecting a happy ending, you haven’t been reading this book. When we last left off, Batman finally arrived to confront Damian for his crimes – and as this issue indicates, Damian is anything but repentant. But there isn’t much time to discuss things, because Deathstroke shows up to fulfill his contract on the Teen Titans’ heads. And therein lies one of the problems of this series – everyone’s character is flattened. Deathstroke’s murder-happy sadism would read a lot better if we hadn’t just read a fifty-issue run by Priest where he worked with two of these kids and seemed to have something resembling a sense of honor.
Slade’s characterization is a total loss and Damian’s isn’t much better – while writer Robbie Thompson tries to make a logical through-line to Damian’s trauma over losing Alfred and Dick, this storyline has been going on way too long to justify it. Damian’s dialogue is so over the top that it feels like he’s right back where he started in 2006. Who they do better by is Emiko, who is allowed to recover from the trauma of her “killing” of Slade and prove that she has a decent core. Roundhouse, Wallace, and Crush don’t really have much of a storyarc, but they seem to be taking the lead in upcoming issues. The ending, with Damian walking away from Robin – despite Bruce extending a hand of help – and embracing the other side of his family’s ways, has been preordained for a while and is a sad, depressing ending to the story of the first Robin of color – for now. With both this title and Young Justice ending soon, I don’t know what the future is for DC’s kid heroes, but let’s let a little light in the room next time, maybe?
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.