When you read Teen Titans you know you’re good for a team book where most of the characters are equal. They’re younger (obviously) but also a little greener and that makes the book unique from most team books. We check out the latest issue and ask the question, is it good?
Teen Titans #23 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
When H.I.V.E. threatens to destroy New Orleans, the city turns to the Teen Titans for help! But the H.I.V.E. Queen is ready for the Titans, and has a special surprise in store for Red Robin…
Why does this book matter?
This has been a fun ride–at least the last few I’ve read have been anyway, as writer Tony Bedard does a good job giving each of the heroes something to do. He’s also great at making the team feel like they’re bonding and growing together. Each issue has been a done in one story too, which you just don’t get anymore now that writers are focusing on six issue stories. This one is no different!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
A clever use of his powers.
Bedard does a good job showing us why Red Robin is the leader and in some ways this is his issue. There’s a bookend element opening with Tim talking to Batman, then later having it all come together as it’s revealed his training is a secret superpower he has. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but it’s a nice clever twist.
The rest of the team has plenty to do too. They must take on a villain who takes over the minds of regular folk. It’s never explained what her goal is, but the Teen Titans are there to thwart her from the start. While not every member is as important as Raven and Red Robin to the plan, Bedard gives each a function in the grand scheme of things. Bottom line, without these select members the day may not have been saved.
The pencils by Miguel Mendonca, inks by Diana Conesa, and colors by Tony Avina come together to bring all the big superhero action in a bombastic way. Power Girl looks absolutely huge, while Gar gets to change into plenty of animals. In one double page spread we see the heroes kicking ass all at once in a crazy double page shot, with panels running along the bottom. A clever goggle shaped panel shows us a clue Red Robin picks up on and behind him are some deliciously pretty crosshatching to make him stand out. The glow of the H.I.V.E. Queen and the eyes of her victims is also quite nice as it creates an otherworldly feel.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I spend all this time talking about Bedard using the full team but…Bunker isn’t used much at all in this issue. It’s a slight oversight I’m sure, but aside from flying around like Iceman he doesn’t do or add much which is unfortunate.
It’s a common thing in the comic industry, but boy is this cover misleading! It’s a cool idea and I wish it was in the actual book, but I can’t say it shows up.
It’s good to have super powers.
Is It Good?
Teen Titans is always good for a coordinated superhero team up. This issue is no different.