Last month, Roundhouse sacrificed himself to save New York City, and that left the Teen Titans down a man. This month, they embark on their first mission without their rotund friend. Will they be driven by their loss or divided? Find out below.
The Teen Titans are just getting acquainted with one another, and they’ve already lost one of their team members. While you might think this would help bring the team together, it doesn’t. Many of our heroes have already lived immensely difficult lives and know that death comes with the territory when heroics are involved. But that doesn’t mean Wally shares that sentiment, or that he isn’t feeling guilt for bringing Roundhouse onto the team.
The first few pages of this chapter feel disjointed. We start with the team in the middle of their current mission, before jumping back in time to show the team training together. All of this takes place after Roundhouse’s sacrifice, but none of the team really acknowledges what happened. Both sequences just read as another day. And this is why I say the book feels disjointed. Considering the last page of the last issue was Roundhouse being blown up, I expected more of a reaction to start this chapter… but that isn’t the case.
As the issue plays out, my expectations start coming to fruition – though not in the way I expected. Wally is the focus for this issue, and his mindset interferes with the mission – which, by the way, ends up being quite fun despite it’s shaky start. The team comes together to stop a plan to rob a hospital. The black market pays big bucks for various medical drugs and supplies, so for a criminal, it’s a smart, easy take. Having been tipped off, the Teen Titans have a leg up on the situation, or so they think.
When Kid Flash decides to take the mission into his hands in an attempt to prevent his teammates from facing danger – and, more importantly, against Robin’s orders – things naturally go south. We quickly learn that there’s more to the villain and this robbery that the Teen Titans didn’t account for… and that reveal is golden! (Am I tipping my hand?) We basically get a two-for here as far as villains are concerned – one new and one established – and I assume that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of either of them!
Despite the mission, neither villain really serves as the antagonist for the team. Instead, that classification belongs to the team themselves. They’re getting in their own way more than the villains, and it’s something Damian will need to control if he ever plans to successfully run this team. And speaking of Damian, we learn more about his secret dungeon and what he plans to do with the villains he’s captured. We also learn that Robin is secretly working with someone to complete this mission, and I can’t wait to see how all of this unfolds!
Robin is working with Red Hood! I repeat, Robin is working with Red Hood!!! I find this reveal extremely fascinating, and I can’t wait to get more time with these two together. While rejecting some of his father’s ways, it appears as though Damian is now siding with Red Hood’s methods. Either way, I’m completely on board going forward! I do, however, question how much Dick Grayson knows (or knew considering the recent issue of Batman) since he commented that Damian was “doing his own thing” with this team in a previous issue.
More than anything, I’m curious to see when or if Adam Glass will change his approach to storytelling. Each issue has been standalone, focused heavily on a member of the team, and have essentially served as a one-and-done story with minor threads carrying forward. This approach helps the book maintain a lighter tone by not getting too bogged down in an overcomplicated or serious plot, but it can also hinder the urgency of needing to read this title from month to month. Thankfully, this chapter ends with a third surprise that should spark enough curiosity to bring you back next month.
What?!?!?! I felt like something was off for most of the issue, and I thought it was because the team wasn’t dealing with Roundhouses death… But I was also quite certain Roundhouse was going to survive. Then the moment I actually believed he was dead, he pops back up! I want some explanations… Or maybe I don’t. I’ll let you know next month…
The Art: Bernard Chang continues to deliver great art for Teen Titans, and manages to capture a certain energy and tone that helps the title hit its mark. There’s a sense of joy in Teen Titans, and that energy has to come directly from the creative team, and their enjoyment of the project. I’ve grown to appreciate Chang’s subtle difference in how he approaches each issue based on the character it features, and I can’t wait to see what next month will reveal!
- You’re curious to learn Roundhouses’ fate.
- Robin and the Teen Titans aren’t the only ones going after The Other.
- It’s fun!
Overall: Adam Glass and Bernard Chang deliver another solid issue of Teen Titans. The book isn’t afraid to touch on serious topics without ever taking itself too seriously, or driving the narrative to such a dark place that it’s impossible to enjoy. In the end, the book is a good example of balance that only grows in potential with each issue.