Will Kid Flash come home? After Wally assisted Deathstroke and nearly destroyed everything, Damian kicked him off the team. But Damian isn’t in charge anymore, and Starfire and the rest of the crew want to bring their exiled friend in from the cold. Does Wally want back in? Find out in Teen Titans #13, as “The Return of Kid Flash” begins. SPOILERS AHEAD
Teen Titans has been a consistently good book since it first began. It doesn’t reach for lofty heights, but it’s always a good time. Percy’s Titans are a generally humorous and likable lot, and other than some occasionally wobbly dialogue, I have enjoyed it. The plots make sense, there’s nice action, and most of the jokes land as intended. Teen Titans #13 falls right in line with earlier issues in the series.
There are a few heavy-handed meta-references early on, which make me cringe a bit. Damian says—ostensibly referring to a fight simulation—that “it wasn’t supposed to end this way…I want to start over.” This is an obvious reference to the state of the actual team, rather than their simulated counterparts—obvious and without grace. A few pages later, Wally’s teacher lectures the class on the difference between speed and velocity, and then immediately transmutes her lecture into a metaphor for Wally’s aimless life. These instances feel like Percy trying to force moments of literary significance, and his lack of finesse in the effort makes for a clunky read.
Beyond these early bumps, however, this issue is largely very readable. I love the parallel questing of Damian and the rest of the team, as he pursues Emiko Queen and they Wally. The scenes with Damian and Emiko are particularly delightful, with her giving him very little respect and snubbing him when he offers her a spot on the team. The other quest has its merits, too. Starfire’s literal interpretation of Beast Boy’s humor delivers a funny payoff to a joke, and Wally’s condition for return sets up what will surely be an entertaining (attempt at) reconciliation between he and Damian later.
After already reviewing a book with way too much text this week, it’s refreshing to see Percy’s restraint in that regard. There isn’t much in the way of monologue, and most conversations have good rhythm and back-and-forth between characters. The dialogue just feels a lot more natural (for the most part) than in your average comic, which, all other things being equal, makes for a much more enjoyable time in the book.
Series regular Khoi Pham is back on breakdowns this month, after ceding that responsibility to Phil Hester for the last arc. With no disrespect to Hester, I’m glad to see Pham taking this on. His layouts tend to have a bit more breathing room, and I think the action flows a bit more naturally with fewer distractions. His finishes look very nice, as well, especially with Trevor Scott returning on inks. Look at the detail on Goliath and Damian below—fantastic work by Pham, Scott, and Charalampidis:
- You’ve enjoyed Teen Titans for its solid performance—this is another fun, funny, and fantastically illustrated installment.
- Watching characters snub Damian never gets old for you.
- Seriously, look at Goliath.
A fun adventure, nicely illustrated, Teen Titans #13 continues this series’ trend of quality. The parallel adventures are entertaining in their own right, and Percy lays some groundwork that will pay off when they inevitably converge. If you aren’t reading this book, now is as good a time as any to jump on.