Monday, October 26, 2020

Bullet Review: Teen Titans # 46

Teen Titans #46 came out this last week and with Jon Kent prominently displayed on the cover, I thought this would be a good purchase and a chance to catch up on this book. I had been reading this book when Adam Glass and Bernard Chang were on the book. But somewhere around Teen Titans #41, the title dropped off my pull list. I honestly think it was a victim of the pandemic. I hadn't put the book on my official pull list, just buying it off the shelf when it came out. I suppose this is my folly.

I was surprised to see Glass off the book and instead see Robbie Thompson on as writer. As a huge fan of Marvel's Silk book, I was pretty excited to see what Thompson brought to the book. I wasn't disappointed.

What I don't know is if Superboy is here as a guest in hopes he'll punch up sales. I am pretty sure the book is already canceled given the DC purge of 2020. 

Jesus Merino is on art and I have always been a fan of his work. He recently did pretty stellar work on the Wonder Woman book. His figures are a bit thin in comparison the Bernard Chang's but no one looks sickly or stretched out like Ian Churchill figures. And I like the playfulness he brings to the more private scenes with the characters.

As for Jon ... well ... it is a moment. 

On to the book.

Since I last read the book, it looks like Damian has quit the team. Remember, he had a pretty stark, basically evil plan to incarcerate and brainwash villains without due process. This shook up the team back then.

Now he is gone and the team is looking for him. And so is Jon.

How Jon found out about this (given he is living in the future) or why he came back is something I'd like to know. I wonder if this was explained last issue.

But now the remaining team of Roundhouse, Crush, Kid Flash, and Red Arrow are following clues Damian left behind. They hope it will lead them to the ex-Robin. But instead they keep finding super-villains like Mammoth and Shimmer.

Nice action double page spread here as Jon lays into Mammoth. It is a good thing Superboy is there as Mammoth does not go down easy.

For me, the breakout character of this team was Crush, Lobo's daughter.

She definitely is rough and tumble. But there has been moments of vulnerability in her, especially emotionally. Here the more 'Main Man' side of her cuts loose as she batters Shimmer.

It is clear that Crush wants to belong, have a family and friends, even if she protests a bit much when that is brought up ... at least in the past.

This 'clue' by Damian isn't just the presence of our villains. It leads the team to a massive vault. Inside is a note from Damian addressed to Jon.

Like most of the Bat-Family, Damian seems all knowing. He knew Jon would be coming? 

Jon reads the note. But we the audience don't get to read it. And neither do the other Titans. Jon burns it with heat vision. He certainly doesn't seem to be happy with what he has read.

With that Jon flies off.

So thoughts? What did Damian write?

But the team does have this crisis. Without Robin ... without Djinn ... are they even a team?

Even Crush has to agree, they are something. They are a group.

This softening of Crush, this humanizing of her, is really wonderful. One of my favorite parts of this title.

But are they a superhero team. The four split into pairs.

Here is my favorite moment in the book.

This is a group of kids who have been put through an emotional wringer.

Wally reminds Emiko that while they are Titans, they are also teens. Time to do teen stuff ... like head to a carnival and get a little flirty.

This was just perfect. They can't be heroes 100% of the time. Down that path lies madness. I just thought this was great.

And then this moment.

During the Glass run, Roundhouse had taken control of Djinn in an unethical way. Crush loved Djinn. Now Roundhouse confesses how he doesn't think he can be Crush's friend given that prior sin.

If you want to see how much Crush has grown look no further. She acknowledges that Roundhouse messed up. She also knows he regrets it and is trying to make things right. She can be his friend.

Who in their adolescence didn't mess up with a friend and hope you could repair things? Who in their adolescence hasn't looked at someone who was a friend and crossed you and then you welcomed them back?

Thompson wrote the young Silk in a way that felt true and he seems to be picking up the baton here too.

Maybe I need to go back and fill in the gap?

Overall grade: B+


Steve said...

I figured Jon just learned Damian showed his true colors and disappeared between scenes in Action Comics. He was bound to check on the evil little twit after Chameleon referred to Damian as Baby Hitler.

I also think this volume or at least this line up should have ended when Damian left. It feels like they're squeezing story out of a story that already ended to me.

Martin Gray said...

I disagree, Damian’s leaving has given the others a little more much-needed panel room. I love Crush and Roundhouse especially, and hope Djinn comes back. It’s great that we’ve seen the team in solicitations beyond the cancellation.