Damian Wayne is about to kill all the Titans… on purpose! Your Major Spoilers review of Teen Titans #40 from DC Comics awaits!
Writer: Adam Glass & Robbie Thompson
Penciler: Eduardo Pansica
Inker: Julio Ferreira
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Mike Cotton
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 18, 2020
Previously in Teen Titans: Elias and his army of genies have begun their assault on heaven, and the only person capable of stopping him is his younger sister Djinn, who is currently trapped in purgatory. But Robin, Crush and the rest of the Teen Titans have a plan to bust her out, and the road to purgatory goes through hell itself. But how do you get to hell, you ask?
Simple…you only have to die!
“MOSTLY DEAD MEANS STILL SLIGHTLY ALIVE!”
As World War Genie gets into full swing, Robin reveals that their teammate Djinn is being held in literal purgatory and that he’s going to kill himself to get in there and save her. But, he insists, they’ll only be in a near-death state for thirty minutes before they die for real. What’s more, he just happens to have a collection of substances that will be fatal to each of the other Titans for just such an emergency, and he wants them all to drink them and join him in the afterlife. He’s thought ahead enough to have beds and monitoring equipment on hand to revive them, but not enough to get IN those beds before imbibing the poison, leaving Jakeem Thunder surrounded by by a bunch of dead teens. Each of them arrives in hell, where they are forced to face their own greatest fears, overcoming them with help from Robin and their teammates and making their way to hell…
THE RETURN OF JAKEEM THUNDER
That final page shot of Jakeem Thunder surrounded by flatlining monitors and now-dead Titans is shocking, as is Djinn’s angry insistence that they shouldn’t have come to see her, but much of this issue isn’t as engaging. Robin faces Ra’s Al Ghul and insists he’s nothing like his parents, Crush’s greatest fear is herself, Wallace/Kid Flash is afraid of becoming evil like his father, Reverse-Flash… It feels very familiar. I was genuinely disturbed when Roundhouse dreamed of being buried alive by his beloved sister, though, and wished that there was more of that sort of horror to be had. I really enjoy the art in this issue, though, making the team look like actual teenagers, and making the gates of literal hell seem seriously forboding, and the ending hits a truly frightening note, even though it was clear as soon as Robin said they only had about 30 minutes what would happen.
BOTTOM LINE: AN EXPECTED ENDING
All in all, Teen Titans #40 gets the job done, bringing the team together to face their demons and save their partner, even if I felt like it glossed over some of the character’s psyches, with better-than-average art making for 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I keep hoping that this team will finally come together in spite of themselves, and a literal trek through hell might just be the way to do it.
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TEEN TITANS #40
The visions of purgatory didn't quite have the kick I wanted, but overall it's a well-done chapter with an impressive (if telegraphed) cliffhanger...