This review contains major spoilers for Detective Comics #940, also released this week. You’ve been warned.
Tim Drake is dead—or so believe the Teen Titans and any other folks connected with Red Robin. Devastated, his now-leaderless teammates take turns remembering him. And as expected, a colleague waits in the wings, apparently ready to honor Tim’s sacrifice by continuing his work.
Somewhat relevant, somewhat touching
Teen Titans has existed in its own world since the rest of DC’s line shut down or started over with June’s (highly successful) Rebirth initiative. While Tim Drake received some long-overdue love in Detective Comics, he continued to strut around in his showgirl wings in this book, fighting talking apes and sentient podiums modeled after masculine anatomy. It is refreshing, therefore, to finally see this title exist in the same reality as other current stories (even if it’s in the final issue).
Sadly, editorial failed to catch a significant mistake in the artwork. The last page shows Tim’s costume on display in the Batcave, but it is not the updated (retro-Tim) costume presented to him in Detective; rather, it is the oft-derided, feathery nonsense that he wore throughout The New 52. For some of you, this may be small potatoes, but for me, it’s a pretty big ding. This is the last chance for N52 Titans to give Tim the respect he deserves, but Churchill and Antone fail to stick the landing.
Thankfully, Churchill, Rapmund, and Aviña do an otherwise decent job. I’m not too keen on Churchill’s facial style, but his layouts work well, especially considering how much of this issue is talking, and the brevity of each flashback scene. None of this is particularly memorable work, but it’s not bad, and it gets the job done.
The scenes of remembrance themselves are at least somewhat touching. They depend a bit too much on the history of this particular team, but Bedard still manages to achieve some genuine emotional resonance. Miguel and Tim always had the most believable friendship in this book, so I felt Bunker’s pain the most, but the rest were okay, and sweet at the very least. I remain super-happy that it’s finally over, though, and—especially in light of Detective #940‘s ending—I don’t see myself ever looking back on this issue or this series with anything more affectionate than indifference.
- You’ve been collecting the whole set. It’s finally here. You made it. Yay.
- You have an irrational hatred for the good books that came out this week.
- You like your Drakes with feathers.
This is it—my final word on The New 52 edition of Teen Titans. Much like the series as a whole, issue #24 assumes too much reader investment in its characters and prior events. As someone with negative feelings about almost everything in this run, I suspect that any payoff made by this final installment is earned by James Tynion’s Detective Comics. That is the book that (finally) gave us a Tim Drake who will be missed. That is the book that makes the mourning friends here look a little less ridiculous. The sweet moments are still sweet, and the creators did alright with the snowballed mess that they inherited (relatively) late in the game, but there still isn’t any good reason to go pick this book up. Let Detective #940 have the last word on Tim until such time as he gets put back on the board.