World’s Finest: Teen Titans #5 – Mark Waid, Writer; Emanuela Lupacchino, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Since the start of this series, Waid has been teasing that the small vignettes that the Titans were taking part in were leading to something else—something big. And at the end of last issue, it was revealed that the Teen Titans were being stalked by… the Terror Titans. What we didn’t know was the mastermind—until now. In a flashback, we learn that months ago the Titans were trying out new members and were giving a tryout to an intense young man with electric powers named Haywire. He seemed to have the right motivation—until there was an opportunity, and he tried to steal state secrets from the government lab they just protected, arguing that they could make a bigger difference by blackmailing the right people. He was immediately bounced, and held a grudge ever since—recruiting one new member after another with the singular goal of hunting down the Teen Titans and publicly humiliating them.
Of course, the Titans have another problem—each other. Tensions are rising between just about everyone on the team. Donna and Garth’s relationship is on the rocks, Roy is increasingly resentful of the team after last issue, and Wally is struggling to find his place on the team, while Dick is increasingly breaking down under Batman’s pressure and feels kept at arm’s length from the rest of the team because of his secret identity. This leads to an ugly showdown where the team goes up against the Terror Titans and have an absolutely disastrous outing that leads to several injuries and a shouting match after the fact. It looks like the Titans are on the rocks and may even be breaking up—until one member makes a dramatic decision that could turn the tide. This incarnation of the team has rarely gotten the spotlight in the modern day, so this could easily wind up being their defining story as a group.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.