Teased in Teen Titans Academy #3, the Bat Pack are on the case to figure out who is behind the mask of Red X. Focusing exclusively from the perspective of Chupacabra, Negabat, and Bratgirl, writer Tim Sheridan is joined by Steve Lieber and Dave Stewart to reveal who is, or maybe most specifically who isn’t Red X. Introduced in Future State: Teen Titans, this very young crew aims to solve the unsolvable mystery.
This issue is predominantly told via Chupacabra’s notes, which are rendered in bits of notebook paper. Told exclusively from his perspective, we’re informed rather early on he may not be the most reliable narrator. Soon, he and his team are interrogating other students at the Teen Titans Academy, including Tooby and some familiar faces as well. This book serves as a fun done-in-one tale more about the Bat Pack than anything else.
We do get to cross a few names off the list as far in terms of who Red X isn’t, but that’s really not the point. Sheridan and Lieber do a good job capturing the unique perspectives of the Bat Pack along with a few other newer heroes. It’s character development in a way that may spark readers to want more from these sometimes odd and dramatic characters.
If this was a TV series, this would be a break from the main story to allow for more anticipation and curiosity from the audience. I can’t say this is a must-read even if you’ve been captivated by the Red X narrative, but it’s great fun to get to know the Bat Pack. It also helps detail how this school has all sorts of hijinks going on we probably won’t ever find out about.
Lieber draws a funny book, which is no surprise given his great work on Jimmy Olsen. There’s some classic comics comedy by way of characters literally flipping upside down when they get pushed aside, or fun cutaways to made-up TV shows. Most importantly, Lieber makes you take these characters seriously. Their mission is deadly serious, even if it’s not their job to figure out who Red X is. It makes the drama work in many ways, knowing these kids don’t just want to know who Red X is, but they need to know. Possibly the best part of this story is a double-page splash of the Bat Pack’s mystery wall. As seen in the preview, there are images of those who could be Red X complete with red string linking characters, a closeup of Nightwing’s butt, and some other mini jokes too.
In a fun day around the school, Teen Titans Academy #4 is a cute side story that gets at what kids at this school must be going through not knowing who’s behind the mask of Red X.
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