The Teen Titans are getting a whole new lineup and we find out why in their latest special issue. Focusing on Damian, Kid Flash, and Red Arrow, writer Adam Glass posits the argument that maybe there’s a better way to stop crime.
If you’re interested in the big spoiler within this issue read our coverage of that here!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
It’s the dawn of a new age of TITANS! The events of METAL and NO JUSTICE have left the team in tatters, but a strange new threat has emerged to lead Nightwing to reassemble the Titans with a mix of old blood and new. A rash of metahuman power fluctuations are threatening people around the globe, and only the friends who grew up as superheroes can help those whose powers have grown out of control! It all starts here in this special issue kicking off a bold new direction!
Why does this matter?
This issue focuses on three team members who have gone through some serious s--t in their lives. They’ve all been involved with or been around murders and the stories here reveal why they may be moving in a direction of vigilantism that’s brutal and uncompromising.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with Damian getting some comfort food at a small restaurant nobody knows about. Enter gangsters and things go bad real fast. Glass does a good job writing captions that make this restaurant deeply personal to Damian and also a place he’d be willing to do anything to protect. It’s a story of tragedy that is resolved in a shocking way, lending credence to Damian’s desire to fight crime differently.
The second story focuses on Red Arrow and her complicated relationship with her mother. She goes through hard times in this story and the result is a young girl who seems to have determined the only way is to strike back out at the world. The third story is all about Kid Flash and the unfair nature of heroes and politics. It involves the Suicide Squad and he too ends up being disgusted with the way things transpire. Glass has done a good job making these characters’ points of view clear, giving rise to a team that is willing to go outside the boundaries of being a hero.
Robson Rocha draws a sharp issue with good detail and a keen eye for body language. These characters are dealing with some heavy stuff and their facial expressions speak volumes as to how they’re fed up. There are a lot of low and high angle shots that increase the dramatic effect of a scene.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Kid Flash’s story isn’t quite as tragic as the other two making his desire to do things differently somewhat odd. Where Damian and Red Arrow are willing to potentially kill to solve problems Kid Flash isn’t pushed so far. He’s also super whiny and much more immature than the other two. Maybe that’s on purpose (Damian and Red Arrow are more well-traveled) but when read in one sitting his narrative isn’t as strong for these reasons.
Damian does something in this issue, off panel mind you, that may piss a lot of people off. It seems to suggest everything Batman taught him was for naught. It also ages him as he’s no longer just a little boy after what he does here.
Is it good?
A good issue that appears to be taking the Teen Titans in a direction many did not see coming. If the Teen Titans are a more brutal team that’s willing to kill to enact justice many may take notice. These aren’t your parents Teen Titans.