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Review: Teen Titans #19

I guess the latest issue of Teen Titans is the perfect place for the phrase ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic’. We already know that with Rebirth, this current team of Titans is going to come to an end.  Either the team will split up, or they will never have been a team at all. Normally, this would be the perfect opportunity for a big, climactic something or other. But writer Greg Pak only came on to the series a few issues ago, and he’s kind of just going through the motions.

In any other situation, this would be a mighty fine issue of Teen Titans. But that omnipresent feeling of just killing time is unavoidable.

Teen Titans #19

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good. 

So we kinda sorta do get that team up between Wonder Woman and the Teen Titans. And we do get to see Wonder Girl learn about her previously unknown past. And there are some nice character moments found within Teen Titans #19. It’s a finely written and drawn comic. I don’t think I have any particular complaints, which is very different from my previous Teen Titans reviews, I know.

It’s almost as if Pak is just keeping the boat above water. Tell some innocent, innocuous stories that don’t really matter in the long run, but keep the book coming out on time.

I suppose I don’t have a problem with that, because we live in a world where Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel exist.

Join me after the jump for the full synopsis and more review!

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Review: Teen Titans #18

Rebirth is on its way, folks. In a few short months, DC Comics is going to kick off their next big thingamajig, and current comics are feeling the pinch. We don’t know what’s going to happen to the Teen Titans, who’s going to write it, who’s going to draw it, or what it’s going to be about. But for now, writer Greg Pak is cruising along with a fun little story about Wonder Girl’s origins. I enjoyed the last issue for its upbeat character work and interesting story. Teen Titans #18 continues the trend, though the issue is kind of light and breezy.

But I can live with light and breezy when it comes to a new Teen Titans.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

I have no real complaints about this issue, none that matter anyway. It’s fun, simple and pretty straight forward. It calls back to the brilliant Wonder Woman run by Brian Azzarello, which is neat. It contains the first ever team up of Wonder Woman and Tim Drake in the New 52, which I personally found kind of annoying, and I’ll explain why later. At times, I felt like Pak didn’t necessarily know what to do with all of the Titans. This is a Wonder Girl story, first and foremost, but I guess Pak can’t just ignore the rest of them. That kind of means he doesn’t find as many great character moments, like he did with the last issue, but it’s not a big deal.

Honestly, I feel so mellow about this issue, that I’m starting to wonder if I was too harsh with my previous reviews. Or if I’m being too lenient with Greg Pak. This is just a fine little comic, neither great nor terrible. Teen Titans feels like it’s biding its time until Rebirth, but at least Pak and artist Ian Churchill (with an assist by Tom Derenick) are making the most of it.

Join me after the jump for the full synopsis and more review.

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Review: Teen Titans #17

Here we go! Buckle up, boys and girls, because the next era of Teen Titans is upon us! New writer Greg Pak takes the reigns, at least for a little while, hoping to right this stagecoach for a few issues, until Rebirth comes along to maybe change everything up again. It’s a little hard to get excited about the new writer when there’s every indication that nothing will stick. But I’ve stuck with Teen Titans this long, and I’m always eager for something new from this series.

Teen Titans #17

So it’s damn exciting that Greg Pak immediately and unequivocally solves one of my biggest complaints about this series. This is close to being the Teen Titans I’ve always wanted.

Comic Rating: 7/10 – Good.

The biggest problem with Teen Titans in the New 52, and even in DCYou, is that the characters are treated as little more than action figures. They are costumed superheroes first, people second. All they do is fight bad guys, bouncing from one random opponent to the next. Famously, Red Robin never once removed his costume when Will Pfeifer was writing the series. There was apparently no interest in addressing the Teen Titans as teenagers or youngsters or human beings. They were action figures, trapped in a strange mess of stories, many of which were likely tugged back and forth by demanding editorial.

I may never understand why Teen Titans was so shackled when things like Batgirl, Ms. Marvel, Young Avengers and Teen Titans Go! were allowed to exist.

Teen Titans #17 doesn’t fix everything. Pak and DC don’t go for the nuclear option. This is still the same team, carrying on the same storyline, and existing in the same New 52 world. But Pak treats them as people for the first time in a long time. There is more characterization in this one issue than in Pfeifer’s entire run. There are character moments that legitimately shocked me for how little we’ve seen that level of depth. And for once, the threat doesn’t come from some outside force, but from within. For once, the Teen Titans are driving their own story.

And you better believe that Tim Drake shows up in this comic! Join me after the jump to see for yourself!

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Review: Teen Titans #15

Well hot diggity dog! Somebody break out the fine wine and party hats, we’ve got a pretty decent issue of Teen Titans on our hands! Nothing in this new issue really grinds my gears. We’ve got some good art from one of my favorites, Ian Churchill. The villain is pretty dastardly, and while he does come out of left field, he does so in a normal, comic book sort of way. And Bunker is this close to having the lead role this issue. I honestly hope this is the start of bigger and better things for Bunker.

Teen Titans #15

Don’t let the cover fool you, though. This is a pretty crappy crossover with Robin War, but it’s a pretty nice issue of Teen Titans.

Comic Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

I know what you’re thinking: I usually hate Teen Titans. And it’s true, I do. But I don’t hate Teen Titans out of some ingrown desire to hate it, it’s just not my comics cup of tea, despite the creative teams’ best efforts. Teen Titans has a lot of problems. But those problems have a lot of easy solutions, and writers Will Pfeifer and Scott Lobdell do a lot of things almost right in this new issue. The madness has died down. We’re free of whatever the heck DC wanted done with Superboy. Now it’s just the Teen Titans being superheroes. There’s also almost a scene of them being ordinary teenagers, but it’s gone in a (Kid) flash. But that aside, this is a solid issue. It doesn’t make Teen Titans a worthwhile comic, but considering Teen Titans as a whole, this is sort of a pleasant experience.

Look, if you’re like me and would like to read a consistently enjoyable and entertaining Teen Titans comic, this isn’t it. But if you’re also like me, and you’re still buying this series and hoping for the best, then today is your lucky day! With Red Robin off playing War, the rest of the Titans are left to find and fight bad guys all on their own. And while Pfeifer and Lobdell don’t go nearly far enough to flesh out the other Titans, at least the issue is a good read.

Join me after the jump for the full synopsis and more review!

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Review: Teen Titans #12

I…I don’t know how to begin this review. I don’t know what to say to introduce any of you to what you’re about to read. Teen Titans has left me speechless at times since the start of the New 52, but this issue…this is a whole new level. This is insane. It’s been nearly two months since the last issue of Teen Titans, and something has happened. I don’t know what, exactly. I can make a few guesses. It looks like DC Comics has simply decided to cut off writer Will Pfeifer at the knees, throw out everything he had been writing, and bring in the worst possible person to try and clean up Pfeifer’s ‘mess’.

Teen Titans #12

Forget everything you’ve been reading for the past year, apparently. Teen Titans has finally, and without warning, lost its mind.

Comic Rating: 2/10 – Very Bad.

When we last left the Titans, Red Robin and Chimera were battling Wonder Girl, the Elite and Despero in the bowls of a metahuman prison. Superboy had just arrived, seeking to clear his name. And Raven and Bunker were about to be attacked by a prison full of angry inmates. Well…uh…forget all of that. Just forget it. Pretend it never happened. There’s no more simple way to put this: Will Pfeifer is gone…I guess? His name is still on the cover, but I can’t imagine he had anything to do with this comic. Either DC has fired him or just told him to stop writing Teen Titans, because this comic literally just drops the entire prison story on the second page. You’re not going to believe it.

Maybe DC disliked Pfeifer’s comic as much as I did.

But then DC goes and makes the even more foolish move of bringing Scott freakin’ Lobdell back to take over! What the hell?! Lobdell? SERIOUSLY?! Of all the people working at DC Comics, of all the people in the comic book industry, of all the people sitting at home, they brought Scott Lobdell back to Teen Titans? He’s the guy who got canned so that Pfeifer could be brought in! He’s the guy whose exit from the series was so momentous that DC restarted the series at a new #1, an unprecedented move for the New 52!

Teen Titans #12 defies anything I could have possibly imagined happening. Join me after the jump if you’ve got the stomach for it…

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