What would you do if you found out a gorilla and a brain cylinder were working together to remind us all villains and heroes aren’t much different from each other? Yeah, I’d tell you you’re crazy too. Well it’s happening at DC Comics and we must ask the infamous question: is it good?
Teen Titans #21 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official DC synopsis reads:
While attempting to clean up their public image, the Teen Titans unexpectedly encounter a dangerous threat-the dastardly duo known as Monsieur Mallah and the Brain!
Why does this book matter?
Sometimes you just need some wickedly weird, kooky or crazy in your comics. The fact is comics are meant to be fun which doesn’t mean serious every step of the way. Considering the cover of this comic I’m pretty sure readers are in for something at the very least so silly it’s worth checking out.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Gosh darn married couple.
And it is! Writer Tony Bedard does a great job with the voices of each character, in particular Monsieur Mallah and The Brain and subsequently their banter. These two characters visually do not go together, which makes them instantly comedic in nature, but throw in The Brain’s ordering and somewhat insulting nature and you have the recipe for some funny moments. Fear not if you’re new to this series either, as it opens with a clever six panel layout with each panel seemingly like an advice animal meme (which is actually part of the plot); their name at the top and a descriptor at the bottom (which is sometimes hilarious). Bedard keeps the humor light and easy to swallow while delivering an evil genius plot that’s downright Golden Age in nature. Together you have a rather enjoyable experience.
It’s kind of ironic Monsieur Mallah is depicted as some kind of insane animal on the cover considering the strongest element in this issue is his dignified and seemingly always annoyed demeanor. Like a good sitcom we see him follow orders reluctantly, always commenting on how offended he is yet carrying a damn machine gun. In a lot of ways The Brain acts like Krang floating around acting super arrogant and taking himself way too seriously. His plan involves taking control of zoo animals so you know it’s going to be kind of hilarious too.
Watch out for the seals!
Art is by Miguel Mendonca and inks by Diana Conesa. Props must go to Mendonca for pulling off one heck of a glass tube filled with brains and evil eyes. Mallah is comedic at times simply because of the solid facial expressions by the art team and there’s one hell of a catch by Mallah that looks great. His ability to draw Power Girl large and yet look accurate is spot on too. There’s really nothing to gripe about with the art particularly because of the comedic bent to the story.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Does every hero on the Titans have something to do in this issue? Eh, not really, and even when Robin calls for them to strike only one of the heroes does something in the moment. For a team book the teamwork and use of each hero isn’t quite strong enough.
Is It Good?
There’s plenty of action throughout this issue, but the best part are the villains. They steal the show with some hilarious dialogue and great comedic timing.