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'Teen Titans Academy' #7 gives Grodd a chance
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Comic Books

‘Teen Titans Academy’ #7 gives Grodd a chance

A visually fun spotlight on Gorillas Grodd and Greg, but not much else.

The kids of the Roy Harper Titans Academy have been taking a well-deserved summer break, but not without encountering some trouble along the way. Teen Titans Academy #7 continues from #6 with the kids dealing with Gorilla Greg siding with his villainous uncle, Gorilla Grodd.

It’s a break from the big Red X and Academy-centric stories that were the focus for the first arc of the series. The exploration of the tenuous uncle and nephew dynamic between Gorilla Grodd and Gorilla Greg is a nice change from the typical Grodd versus hero scenes we tend to see in Flash and Justice League comics. A cool conversation/conflict hybrid between the two at the comic’s climax also showcases writer Tim Sheridan’s strength when focusing on a singular character relationship.

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But if you aren’t a fan of Gorilla Grodd and Greg, Teen Titans Academy #7 can feel like a painful pitstop amidst a host of unfinished character and story development. Along with the pause on the Red X story that fronted intrigue for the series, other students’ lack of development makes this issue not engaging. Moments between Gorilla Greg and Summer don’t feel deserved when the reader hasn’t been given enough reason to care about their relationship and their classmates.

DC Preview: Teen Titans Academy #7

DC Comics

Teen Titans Academy as a whole suffers from promising too much. It’s similar to the most recent Young Justice (2019) series which took on the responsibility of a host of characters new and old but couldn’t give them the space they needed. Many of the side characters in Teen Titans Academy #7 haven’t even been named.

Inevitably the kids fall under the shadow of the popularity of the original Titans, but if they aren’t made interesting enough, or given enough attention, these kids will continue to be in their shadow even when they’re the main focus of an issue. Take the Bat Pack who had two whole issues of flashbacks in Teen Titans Academy #4 and #5. This exposition served as a mostly-forgettable prop for the Red X storyline and ended in a jarring end-of-semester celebration (which was especially odd considering we’ve barely seen them in school).

The art in Teen Titans Academy #7 saves what is ultimately a lackluster story. Visually, this issue has the spirit of a fun, dynamic Teen Titans comic. Alex Sinclair’s colors are vibrant but not overwhelming, and the complementary green/red scheme that is employed elevates the action and highlights the important moments.

DC Preview: Teen Titans Academy #7

DC Comics

Pages with the cool conversation/conflict hybrid between Gorilla Grodd and Greg feel fresh in their points of view and movement. Rafa Sandoval’s pencils make sure to adequately accommodate multiple characters in a panel and Jordi Tarragona’s inks bring depth to avoid an overly-cartoonish appearance. Angular panels keep the action scenes interesting, and the way fabrics like Gorilla Grodd and Greg’s capes, and Tress’ long hair are illustrated provide engaging movement.

Rob Leigh’s lettering holds equal importance. The use of different color outlines on bubbles of similar-looking characters is much appreciated amidst multiple pages of conversation between two gorillas in red capes. Leigh employs excellent visual distinction that not only serves to help the reader tell who is who (and if they’re talking telepathically or not) but brings voice to the characters’ words and texture to their conversations.

Teen Titans Academy is interesting and has the potential to improve from this point on, but it just hasn’t hit its stride yet. Thankfully, it looks like future issues might go in a better direction. For now, Teen Titans Academy #7 is a fun, albeit under-developed, feature on gorillas new and old supported by wonderful art, colors, and letters.

'Teen Titans Academy' #7 gives Grodd a chance
‘Teen Titans Academy’ #7 gives Grodd a chance
Teen Titans Academy #7
Teen Titans Academy #7 is a fun, albeit under-developed, feature on gorillas new and old supported by wonderful art, colors, and letters.
Reader Rating1 Vote
9
Fun, dynamic action sequences, lettering, and colors
Story is great for Gorilla Grodd fans...
…not so much for everyone else
A lackluster pause in the main story for character focus that doesn’t feel deserved
7
Good

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