World’s Finest: Teen Titans #3 – Mark Waid, Writer; Emanuela Lupacchino, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This series has so far mostly been a series of vignettes, each telling a different mission of the young first-generation Titans without too much backstory or an overarching plot. And it doesn’t get any more fun mini-plot than the Titans attending… Titancon, a celebration of all things Teen Titans. The decision to update this first generation to the social media age, likely around ten years ago, introduces the element of fandom, and it makes sense that the Titans would be superstars. They’re met with a throng of fans—or at least most of them are, because Robin isn’t there thanks to a no-nonsense order from Batman. That leaves Speedy mostly in charge of the team as the oldest member, and he wastes no time showing off with disastrous consequences. But amid the fun, there are darker elements—including a deranged stalker seeing this as his best opportunity to get close to Bumblebee.
There are some very interesting character beats in this issue, such as Donna Troy being confronted by the strange hero worship she’s picked up, Bumblebee having an intense and trauma-driven fear of being unmasked, and Robin being hinted to have a very troubled relationship with Batman. When the villain, a disturbed young stalker who has powers of his own and sees this as his chance to get close to Bumblebee, enters the fray, he turns the entire con into a chaotic scene that eventually pulls Robin into the fray. While on the surface this is yet another one-off adventure, some fractures are starting to emerge in the team as well as in their home lives, and it seems like the first major villain of the run is emerging in the cliffhanger. While it might not quite reach the highs of the parent book, there’s no question that this is easily the best Teen Titans book we’ve gotten in years.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.