The problem with team superhero comics is more often than not there’s not actually much teamwork involved. It’s hard to blame the creative team though when there are only 22 pages to spare, and it’s tough to give every character in teams as large as 10 something to do. That makes writing team books kind of an art. Teen Titans is one such teamup book–is it good?
Teen Titans #22 (DC Comics)
So what’s this book about? The official DC summary reads:
When the Teen Titans find themselves at odds with the law, an unlikely enemy emerges: Amanda Waller! Can the team prove they really are heroes before “The Wall” hunts them all down?
Why does this book matter?
If the last issue was any indication this is a solid superhero team book indeed. Each character gets a bit of dialogue or at least a bit of heroics. Generally that means the pace is good, plus this issue involves a certain person in charge of the Suicide Squad to ramp up the dynamics.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
What games are you playing Waller!
Red Robin was kidnapped last issue and Waller appears to think the Teen Titans are a good fit for her program. Bedard essentially puts the team in a bad place as their leader isn’t readily available seeing as they need to break him out. It’s a heist story of sorts and the team does well to band together to get Red Robin out. Bedard gives each of the members something to do and even though Red Robin isn’t in the fight he kind of has a part too. That part is in trusting his team which of course is always an element in good leadership. Bedard uses a clever concept of a super prison that has very specific deterrents to specific powers and it’s fun to see how the team counters them.
This issue is drawn by Ian Churchill with inks by Norm Rapmund and colors by Tony Aviña. Together they do well to capture the unique power sets of each hero as they take on Waller’s guards and I particularly like how they utilize Bunker, whose pink psionic bricks look pretty darn cool in this issue. Beast Boy turns into a few cool creatures too. The best element is how it all flows because you’ll never feel bored or confused by the art. Instead it drives things along and makes for an entertaining single issue read.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Two things jumped out at me with this issue and the biggest drawback was the very last page. Avoiding spoilers here, but it’s never satisfying when the threat simply drops their mission because reasons. It’s a rather lazy way to end–maybe simply because they ran out of pages, but it nearly negates all the fun that came before it.
The other thing in question is a single page that involves Beast Boy coming out of a toilet. The toilet is literally filled with feces which is simply disgusting. It’s not played up for laughs and the character isn’t even grossed out. Maybe the colorist was supposed to keep the bubbly stuff blue like water, but it’s very much brown and gross.
What will they do?!
Is It Good?
Two minor gripes hold this back just a bit, but you can’t deny it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Teen Titans is always good for solid superhero team action.