Teen Titans Academy has been a delight to read as it juggles an eclectic group of characters and each one is unique in its own way. Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval have infused this series with a youthful energy that further separates it from others. Case in point, Teen Titans Academy #6 features a summer break for the kids and it’s right in time before the September semester kicks into gear.
This issue opens with a group of the kids from the academy heading to a New York watering hole, but soon find it completely empty. In this opening scene, Sheridan writes each character with a strong voice, from Gorilla Greg to Chupacabra to Summer and you can hear their youthfulness and different personalities through the dialogue. This runs through the whole issue and allows for humor, or shock, even romance to shine through in a genuine way.
This is a superhero comic, though, so don’t expect this to be a lazy day at the beach. The kids soon find themselves searching for locals and discover something isn’t right. When things get hairy, Stitch does their thing to get them in the mood for detective work and it’s a fun nod to a classic.
Speaking of Stitch, they shine through as one of the more prominent characters in the issue. Their ability to make clothing is certainly unique and we get to see it used in a few different ways. Sheridan also further develops a new dynamic for Stitch and another character that’ll have fans itching for more.
Tress also gets plenty of strong moments in this issue as she’s the main avenue for a lot of the humor in the book. She’s not great with knowing what words mean and she’s the butt of a few jokes here.
Mostly a character piece, Sandoval does a good job giving each character a distinct look and even distinct emotions as needed. Sandoval’s splashy style gets to stretch its legs here and there, but it’s in the quieter moments that it shines through the strongest. There’s more than one full page splash, as well as a great intimate moment played out over five panels that show subtle beats letting the reader narrow down the emotions in the scene.
Sandoval is joined by Jordi Tarragona on inks and Ulises Arreola on colors. This book takes on a darker tone in the last few pages — particularly because it’s set at night. There are some fun juxtapositions between the darker inks and bright colors especially when Stitch uses their abilities.
This is the start of a good two-parter Teen Titans Academy story. Similar to the Yearbook issue, Sheridan and Sandoval are playing around with what you can do with a superhero school and of course, the summer break ends up having them use their wits on their own. This is a great ensemble cast of characters written with balance and care every Teen Titans fan should check out.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!