Review: Teen Titans #22
Just…just put Teen Titans out of its misery already. Rebirth is well under way at DC Comics, with some great and note-worthy new titles. But for some reason, Rebirth won’t grace the Teen Titans for several months yet. For some reason, this comic is being forced to limp along and churn out meandering and uninteresting stories like this one. It makes no sense.
Comic Rating: 4/10 – Pretty Bad.
I don’t think we’re ever going to find a more perfect example of a comic book spinning its wheels. Teen Titans is running on fumes, and it makes absolutely no sense to me. Tony Bedard is a fine writer, and I love Ian Churchill as an artist, but they’ve got nothing to work with anymore. Is DC trying to let their adjectiveless Titans comic get a head start before relaunching Teen Titans? Nothing else makes sense.
Teen Titans as a brand is, arguably, one of DC’s most well-known properties. The Teen Titans have had a popular cartoon show ongoing for nearly a decade, with an entire generation of fans out there in the world. But Teen Titans the comic has been the biggest, ugliest blemish on the comics side. This was repeatedly named the worst comic of the New 52, but DC kept it going for the entire length of that imprint.
Now with Rebirth upon us with the promise of a completely clean slate, DC is only easing on the brakes and drawing out this title almost painfully. Bedard and Churchill do their workmanlike best, but what’s even the point anymore?
Last issue ended with Red Robin being kidnapped by Amanda Waller, who told him this was a job interview. Together, they watch on monitors as the Teen Titans search the zoo for their missing leader and try to figure out what to do next. They’re a little directionless without Tim, something Waller seems to relish.
Using Raven’s magic, they’re able to figure out that Tim was kidnapped by some soldier-looking guys. Then they teleport out of the zoo to one of Robin’s hidden jets, and they use the tracking technology to pinpoint his location in Bell Reve Prison. Looks like it’s time for a prison break!
Which is exactly what Waller wants. She wants to see the Titans in action because she wants to force them to join the Suicide Squad for reasons that never quite make sense. I guess the Titans are still viewed as fugitives, but absolutely nothing about the Teen Titans or Amanda Waller would lead me to believe that she would make this kind of decision. It’s a square peg in a round hole.
The security at Bell Reve has been specifically equipped to deal with all manner of super powers, so Power Girl has the bright idea to trick the security into attacking the wrong Titan. She dons Raven’s cloak and heads inside, then isn’t effected when she’s hit by the anti-magic gun. And Wonder Girl swoops in to help Bunker when the guards try to deploy an anti-psionics gun.
So Waller orders her guards to use lethal force to really test the Titans.
Beast Boy tries to sneak in through the sewer system, but he’s found out almost immediately and is taken captive. The other Titans rush to his rescue, and somehow one of the anti-magic guns overloads. The guards are scared, but Bunker quickly wraps the exploding weapon in bricks and the threat is dissolved.
The guards then immediately turn on Waller and refuse to attack the heroes who just saved their lives.
And Red Robin reveals that he escaped from Waller’s restraints ages ago. He just wanted her to see the awesomeness of the Teen Titans. Waller tells Red Robin to get his stupid team out of her sight!
What was the point of this issue beyond killing time until Rebirth? It doesn’t make any sense that Amanda Waller would want to recruit the Teen Titans for the Suicide Squad, but she goes to the trouble of kidnapping Robin and transporting him all the way down to Louisiana just to have the Titans fight some prison guards? She couldn’t have come up with any better or more workable plans?
On the surface, this was a fine issue. The art is fantastic, and Bedard writes the characters well. He even gets in a few good zingers. I would have loved to have seen Bedard really take over the resigns of this series and tell some good, quality stories. But everybody involved is spinning their wheels until the end. We had a meaningless two-issue Brain and Mallah story. And here’s a meaningless story with Amanda Waller. None of it matters. None of it explores these characters. None of it is any good.
Teen Titans #22 is the worst kind of filler material.
For some inexplicable reason, DC is not in any hurry to relaunch Teen Titans. They would rather let this toxically bad series linger around for a few more months, accomplishing nothing. It’s not funny anymore.
And if you’re a Tim Drake fan, go read Detective Comics. He’s finally pretty great again.