After murdering his therapist and escaping from Arkham Asylum via its revolving door, Deathstroke’s body count has continued to rise. Left unchecked, the assassin’s exploits will certainly bring Gotham City to its knees. With a renewed sense of vindication, and a chip on his shoulder the size of a giant sequoia, Damien aims his new team of Teen Titans at Deathstroke. Will the team be able to bring the villain to justice or will Deathstroke elude apprehension once again?
“We can’t take this guy lightly.”
Given the Teen Titans’ sordid history with Deathstroke, the promise of another crossover between the two enemies is too exciting to pass up. Following the “The Terminus Agenda: Prologue” in Deathstroke #41, Teen Titans #28 serves as the true first chapter of “The Terminus Agenda.” Unfortunately, coming off of the great introduction in Deathstroke #41, Teen Titans #28 suffers from many of the issues that plague crossovers.
One of the largest problems that crossovers face is catching up readers who aren’t familiar all of the participating titles. As a result, Teen Titans #28 faces the daunting task of not only providing readers with enough background information regarding events within Deathstroke, but also enough information regarding this newest iteration of the Teen Titans for those who may be reading it for the first time.
The end result is a good enough introduction to the crossover that sets the table for future issues. It’s hard not to draw comparisons between this issue of Teen Titans and Deathstroke #41. Where Priest initially creates complexity to his introduction by drawing connections between the characters and opera, Glass lacks this complexity by introducing each of the characters at essentially a board meeting to introduce their new target. If you’re ever sat in a board meeting, you know exactly how engaging they can be. It’s not that Glass’ introduction is bad, it is in fact good, but when read back to back with Deathstroke, you can’t help but feel some disconnect because of a shift in tone and lack of the operatic theme.
Once the issue moves into the Teen Titans apprehending Deathstroke, the story quickly picks up the pace. Glass introduces some tension here by having other members of the Teen Titans discover Damien’s secret prison underneath Mercy Hall. This does an okay job setting up the next installment in Deathstroke. However, you never get a real sense of what Damien’s plans are for Deathstroke once he has been captured. As a result, I don’t think you can get a true sense of the direction this story is heading. This is a little bit of a disappointment because beyond Kid’s Flash’s discovery of the prison, there is not much drawing me to read the next installment.
“Relaxing can be deadly in my line of work. Makes you miss things.”
Bernard Chang’s art with Marcelo Maiolo’s colors do a good job telling the narrative. This team does a great job conveying Damien and Wally’s frustration with Deathstroke as well as the accompanying action sequences. The change in artist is a little jarring from the prologue in Deathstroke as the art teams for each book different styles. When collected, I think this will be a bit of a struggle for the reader.
Overall, Teen Titans #28 is a good introduction to the story that lacks the narrative depth of the Deathstroke’s prologue. Adam Glass’ script is straightforward and does a good job of setting the table for the rest of the crossover. Unfortunately, beyond Deathstroke’s imprisonment at Damien’s hands, and the subsequent fallout from this illegal prison’s discovery, we don’t have a clear direction that the story is headed in yet.