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Mild Mannered Reviews - Teen Titans Comics

Teen Titans #17 Teen Titans #17

Teen Titans #17

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 27, 2013

Cover date: April 2013

"Grey Matters" (A prologue to "A Tale of Light and Dark")

Plot: Scott Lobdell
Script: Fabien Nicieza and Scott Lobdell
Penciller: Eddie Barrows
Inker: Eber Ferreira

Reviewed by: Keith Samra

Click to enlarge

A young boy by the name of Kwon Yi, sitting in a chair in what looks to be a dark basement, with balls of light emanating from his hands. He is not alone in the basement. With him is a man in a white lab coat, who the boy calls "Doctor". The narration tells us that Kwon Yi was born with a Metagene, one that worries the young boy, who just wants to be rid of it. He talks with a "Doctor," who tells him that he can help him be free from the curse of his unwanted powers. The "Doctor" leads the boy to an examination table that's in the dreary basement which is now revealed to be some type of underground lab.

As Kwon Yi lies down on the table face down, the "Doctor" phases out right before his eyes, as if he were some sort of hologram. As Kwon Yi looks up in shock, several needles from a contraption above the examination table plunge into his back, causing the boy an extreme amount of pain.

Six months later, Kwon Yi is still laying on the same table, he has grown taller in that time to the size of an adult. He also seems to be a tad deformed now. Rather than needles, now he seems to have tubes in his back that radiate a bright light. Kwon Yi has clearly been driven mad during this time, as he monologues to himself.

The team of Red Robin, Wonder Girl, Solstice, Bunker and Kid Flash (running alongside the car at hyper speed) arrive back home from Gotham. Red Robin thinks over his ordeal being captured at the hands of the Joker (over the last 2 issues). The team talk to Red Robin, asking if he would at least reveal his name to them now, after having gone to rescue him in Gotham. He explains that his secrets are not his to reveal. The car stops at a pier, instead of their usual home at the Lexcorp Towers. The team are all surprised as Red Robin reveals to them their new base. A very large luxury yacht.

Red Robin gives the team the grand tour of the place. Pairing up both girls and then both boys of the team to their living quarters.

There is a brief scene of Kid Flash and Bunker having a heart to heart late at night, as Bunker talks Kid Flash into going to sleep (seeing as how Kid Flash is keeping him up with all the texting, internet surfing and reading he seems to do all at once).

In Mexico, a teenage girl goes to visit a teenage boy in a coma at a hospital. She holds his hand and talks to the boy, monologuing of how Miguel (Bunker) should be there too, and how it's their fault that he is now in a state of coma.

Red Robin stands on the deck of the "Titans Yacht," leaning against the guard rails, as Solstice approaches him to talk. They talk briefly about events of the past, then Red Robin embraces Solstice confessing feelings he has had for her, then giving her a kiss. Solstice pulls back ever so briefly, bringing up Kid Flash, but both end up in a passionate embrace in the next panel.

Several blocks away, a situation is taking place at a coffee shop. There is a line of customers waiting to be served, a large man pushes over a white haired young man in the line. The young man retaliates with what seems like a "telepathic blast," killing everyone out in the entire coffee shop. The scene ends with the white haired kid, helping himself to another customers coffee order, while a couple of police officers discover the shop full of dead patrons.

Red Robin sits awake in his quarters. Wonder Girls stops by to talk. The two seem to be flirting with one another as they exchange compliments, and the scene ends with a shadow of the two in a passionate embrace.

Raven sits atop a throne, listening to the conversation that was just playing out in Red Robin's quarters between he and Wonder Girl. A wraith like creature comes to summon Raven for Lord Trigon. Raven gets up and follows the wraith. We follow her dialogue to the final scene of the book, with Red Robin sitting in the "War Room" of the "Titans Yacht," listening to the police reports of the events that transpired at the coffee shop a few blocks away. We see Red Robin with a very sinister smile on his face, with glowing red eyes, as if he were possessed by something... Or someone!

4Story - 4: This was, what I like to call a "transitional" issue. Basically coming off a somewhat major storyline, and gearing up for the next.

Much like the last 2 issues, this issue was pretty Red Robin centric. Now I was a big fan of the Tim Drake Robin, pre New 52, so it didn't really bother me too much about RR taking center stage. But as Steve Younis pointed out to me, after I submitted my review for the last issue, some fans are reading the book for the team of the Teen Titans (or in our case because Superboy is on the team), and not just for Red Robin! And he was right. This is a team book, so I guess it can be annoying if Red Robin is always taking the lead. We are 17 issues in, and we've yet to scratch the surface on half the team. Solstice, Bunker (we did get a bit about him this issue) and Kid Flash, have yet to have their origins explained. And wasn't Skitter meant to be an integral part of the line up? We haven't seen her for quite some time?!?

Lobdell however did a good job with this issue. We see a lot of foreshadowing of things to come. I'm curious about Kwon Yi's character, as well as the mysterious white haired kid from the Coffee Shop.

The Raven and Trigon parts are a good tease also. Though I hope that this time Raven will play a more integral role, rather than betray her father, then fade into the background as the "emo" character of the team.

Tim Drake/Red Robin hooking up with both girls from the team... I actually can't wait to see how this will play out. Looks to be a juicy story ahead!

No Superboy again this issue. I understood him being absent the last 2 issue, seeing as how he is busy with the "H'el on Earth" storyline. But they could have at least given him a mention this issue. Is he not important anymore? This was part of the reason I didn't score this issue a 5. Though they set up a lot for future issues of this book, there still was quite a bit that was left unexplained.

With "H'el on Earth" wrapping up this month, I hope Conner returns to the team by next issue.

To play devils advocate though, since this book started, there seems to be a lot of rollercoaster like plots. And rather than put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Lobdell, I feel that there may have been a lot of editorial changes made. I've experienced it in the past on books I had been collecting, and have the same feeling here.

4Art - 4: We welcome the new art team of Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira this issue. Booth and Rapmund really outdid themselves with the last 2 issues, but I'm glad that they are being replaced with Barrows and Ferreira. These two make a great team, and I would argue that Barrows is one of the top ten talents that DC has at the moment.

Barrows is no stranger to the Teen Titans. He had a decent sized run on the Teen Titans pre New 52. Which he followed up with "The Blackest Night: Superman" mini series, following that with a run on the Superman title (during the "Grounded" storyline). And just recently he had rendered the adventures of Dick Grayson, for the Nightwing book, since the launch of the New 52. So he is no stranger to the Super family, and is quite an accomplished artist.

This issue however, seemed a bit off in some places. I'm not sure if it was the inking or Barrows just getting acquainted or rather reacquainted with the characters. I found that he drew the boys on the team with really big gaping smiles in a lot of the scenes. Also the inking did feel rather heavy handed. There was a lot of black in the book, and that's taking into consideration that most of it took place at night.

Alex Sinclair provided the colors this month. I'm not sure if he is the regular colorist from now on, but he did a superb job nonetheless. He is very good at scenes that involve intense light as well as monochrome tones. I hope he sticks around.

5Cover Art - 5: The cover this month was by the old art team of Booth and Rapmund. A moody piece, which is a bit misleading to the story we got. It's obviously targeted at the Batman collectors, who want to get all the chapters of the "Death of the Family" story that concluded recently. I like the composition of the piece, and the foreshadowing of things to come, but we didn't get any of the ramifications about Red Robin it suggests on the cover. Still a good strong cover.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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