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World's Finest: Teen Titans #4
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘World’s Finest: Teen Titans’ #4 dives into social pressures

A good story about the importance of friendship.

We’re over halfway done with World’s Finest: Teen Titans, a blast from the past that has intensively reexamined the original Teen Titans dynamics. So far, we’ve seen how well they work as a team, how they try to understand their identities, and how they’re handling fame. But, what we haven’t deeply explored is whether or not they are good friends to one another. The Teen Titans of the Golden Age are often considered to be the closest-knit Titans. They grew up together and saw each other every step of the way. But does that mean they were good friends with one another? Mark Waid and Emanuela Luppacchino explore this and the pitfalls we’ve all fallen into when having a friend group.

World's Finest: Teen Titans #4
Credit: DC Comics


The story is relatively basic on a surface level: Wally has a sleepover with Roy and Garth while Mal and Karen team up. Wally decides that with the ambiguity surrounding Garth’s relationship with Donna, it’s time for an old-fashioned sleepover among friends. And who’s a closer and more loyal friend to Garth than Roy Harper? Bueller… Bueller…Anyone? Meanwhile, Karen decides to lightly introduce Mal to what it means to be a Titan with a sweet gesture that sets the stage for an upcoming superhero debut.

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Mark Waid has shown time and time again why he perfectly understands the Titans, and this series has been a shining example of how well he understands what the Teen Titans mean. This miniseries has found its strength in touching on important social issues that are delivered in a comprehensible way for varying audiences. That’s been a primary focus of the Teen Titans since their creation. This issue does a great job of finding compassion for those in life who feel ostracized or folks who try to overcompensate for the pressures around them. I think this is likely one of the strongest parts of the issue, and pages 14 and 15 encapsulate this rather well.

That said, I’m disappointed in the misleading solicitation describing this as a story “where Aqualad opens up about his fluid sexuality” when this isn’t touched upon at all. Although it could be perceived from a singular speech bubble by Garth, I don’t find that sufficient. Considering how well this series has educated and informed readers on varying topics, having its preceding blurb be misdirection regarding something as important as discovering one’s sexual identity is a disappointment. Solicitations in comics often have a misdirection that can lead readers astray from the story’s true intention (similar to a movie trailer), and I’m sad to see this be the case here. Hopefully, the series finds its time to show Garth further explore his identity in a more outright way.

Emanuela Luppacchino and Jordie Bellaire do a great job on this issue. I’ve appreciated how emotive Luppacchino’s art has been in the series. Each important moment has been striking because of how expressive everyone is. This animated art style brings the story to a higher level since it perfectly fits the aesthetic of the series. Similarly, Bellaire fills this issue with enough color to light up a room, with vibrant colors that almost sparkle. Overall, the art in this story is spectacular.

World’s Finest: Teen Titans #4 is a good issue that depicts the challenges some people face in their most intense developmental years. When we struggle, it’s important to lean on a friend. Waid depicts this importance rather well by showing the benefits and risks of opening up to our friends, even when they’re different from us.

World's Finest: Teen Titans #4
‘World’s Finest: Teen Titans’ #4 dives into social pressures
World's Finest: Teen Titans #4
World's Finest: Teen Titans #4 is a good issue that depicts the challenges some people face in their most intense developmental years. When we struggle, it's important to lean on a friend. Waid depicts this importance rather well by showing the benefits and risks of opening up to our friends, even when they're different from us.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
The story has beautiful art which has a much-needed vibrance to it
The issue does a great job showing how important it is to lean on one's friends when challenges in life arise
The groundwork is set for the final half of the series very subtly
A misdirect in presmise somewhat sours the story's otherwise success
7
Good
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