The Teen Titans have uncovered a lot to assassinate Commissioner James Gordon, and they intend to stop it. Now the only question is, will they be able to? Well, not the only question, what about Roundhouse suddenly not being dead? Let’s take a look and see what’s up with Teen Titans #23 from DC Comics!
Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Bernard Chang
Cover: Nick Derington
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: October 17th, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in TEEN TITANS: Damien Wayne has gathered a new team of Teen Titans who do not answer to their elders. Kid Flash, Red Arrow, Crush, Roundhouse and Djinn are working under this Robin’s leadership to become a team that writes their own rules; but do those rules include keeping secrets? Secrets like the underground prison below their headquarters, a prison in which Robin is stashing some of the most dangerous Gotham has to offer. Or who he seems to be secretly working within directing this young team? I think the Batman would really have to question his son’s choice of confidants.
BACK FROM THE DEAD WITH A BUCKET OF WINGS
Police Commissioner James Gordon stands before the amassed reporters of the city, giving them updates on the latest and greatest from the crime logs of Gotham’s finest. But when a shot rings out, Gotham’s top cop takes a bullet to the eye, falling back as the gathered reporters scatter for cover. Death comes swift in Gotham, or does it?
Across town Kid Flash’s mission to inform the parents of Billy Wu of their son’s untimely death as a hero is interrupted by the appearance of Billy, aka Roundhouse, himself! It seems that Billy’s amazing powers have saved him from a nuclear detonation and it took him a little while to make is way home. Not sure how to reach his teammates, or if anyone would care, he settles in for a little rest and recuperation. As glad as Kid Flash is to see his friend, there is not a lot of time for a scene as Robin contacts his team’s speedster and updates them on Gordon’s condition, which is in flux. All is not as it seems as the team unfolds their plan to stop an assassination that has already happened, and capture the one responsible, that vixen of villainy, Lady Vic. Expect lots of action as our team of titanic teens race toward an explosive ending!
A DARKER TEAM FOR A DARKER MISSION
Several months back I review the Teen Titans Special #1 written by Adam Glass (Suicide Squad, Rough Riders).At the time that issue was laying the groundwork for what was to come in the series, and I expressed how much I enjoyed Glass’ version of the team as well as the threads he seemed to be laying out to weave these new stories. Now, almost four months later, how do I feel about it?
Pretty damn good.
Adam Glass as succeeded in creating a unique team of heroes that are handling themselves in a unique way. This title is breaking away from some of the more formulaic concepts that have been used as a basis for other team books recently. These are more than just stand-ins for the Big Three and a select few, with the names changed to fit the slightly different situation. Glass has made a unique team that stands by the hardened, tried and true concepts which the Teen Titans have cultivated over the years, namely, kids make mistakes. From Roundhouse not contacting his team, to Red Arrow pushing too hard, to people forgetting to turn off their communicators, mistakes are made. Yes, there are some echoes of past incarnations in the title. I see a little Garfield Logan in Roundhouse, and Djinn and Robin seem to be taking a path that may seem a little familiar to fans of the Wolfman/Perez run, but it is presented with a freshness that makes you rediscovery that feeling of enjoyment. None of these characters are direct stand-ins for their predecessors, despite the similar costumes. Glass’ is writing a story that is enjoyable and not totally predictable, and that is a rare thing in comics today. I’m on board with this title as long as Glass is the writer.
Bernard Chang (Green Lantern Corps, Batman Beyond) is a treasure. It is tough, really tough, to draw kids and have them look like kids and not short adults. The proportions are different as well as the bone structure and eye lines. Many artists just draw them and say, “Oh, they are teenagers,” in the same way the original 21 Jump Street tried to pass upper twenty and thirty-year-old actors as high schoolers. It was fine and often you did not really realize what you were missing until you really paid attention. Chang does not do that. His kids look like kids; really fit kids that could kick your ass, but kids all the same. There is a range of heights and body styles, as well as expressions and looks that sell the idea these are teens and pre-teens. Combine that with action and panel design which jumps off the page, and you have a real winner in the art department.
BOTTOM LINE: SOLID ACTION AND ADVENTURE WITH UNDERLYING MENACE
The last several issues have dealt with death in some way, either dealing with it or accepting it, and this issue goes a step farther and gives us, probably, another death, just maybe not the one you are expecting. It is that variation on the themes that keeps this book exciting, you think you know where it is going and suddenly, BOOM, you get the swerve. It’s great art and action and should be on your pull list every month.
TEEN TITANS #23 continues to live up to its predecessors and possibly starts to prepare to exceed them in some ways. Pick it up and join the fun