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Mild Mannered Reviews - Teen Titans Comics

Teen Titans #23 Teen Titans #23

Teen Titans #23

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 28, 2013

Cover date: October 2013

"Hello, I Must Be Going!"

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciller: Robson Rocha
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colors: Pete Pantazis

Reviewed by: Keith Samra

Click to enlarge

We literally pick up from where we left last issue, with some type of trans-dimensional portal opening up in Kid Flash's room/quarters on the Titan's Yacht. He is being pulled into it by multiple arms. Just as he thinks he's about to be completely pulled in to it, Wonder Girl appears, and manages to lasso his arm. Though she is strong enough to hold her own, she finds her footing giving way under all the stress. Bunker appears next, and grabs a hold of Wonder Girl, only to find himself in the same predicament as Wonder Girl, as the door frame he is holding onto breaks away. Beast Boy comes in next, taking the shape of a Giant Squid, with Solstice also coming in behind him, to lend a hand.

Superboy and Robin finally make it to the scene, and Robin advises Superboy to focus his powers on disrupting the portal. Robin's suggestion works, and Kid Flash manages to get pulled back out of the portal.

Else-when, somewhere in the future, where Kid Flash is really from, two unknown teenage males discuss the failure of not being able to retrieve Kid Flash from the present day. These two seem to know Kid Flash quite well, and one of the boys assures the other that it's only a matter of time until they capture him.

Meanwhile, the Titans rejoice in their victory over saving Kid Flash from the portal. Raven makes a comment that whoever it was that was after Kid Flash, obviously had history with him. Solstice steps in and tells Raven to back off. Kid Flash then tells everybody that maybe Raven is right, and feels he has committed some wrongs from where he is from, but he cant remember what it is that he might have done.

Later, Bunker sits and watches Beast Boy (in the form of a dolphin) do laps in the pool. They converse about times past, and Bunker gets a text message on his phone from someone, which makes him very happy.

We cut to Wonder Girl sitting a top a pier, looking toward the docked Titans Yacht. Superboy flies down and the two young heroes have a talk. Wonder Girl explains that she finally knows things about her father she always wanted to know, and is not sure if she wants it to be true. Superboy tells her that he felt the same way when he found out about Robin kissing her. After a little bit more talking, the two share an intimate kiss.

Raven and Robin go over some case files on each member in his War Room. Robin explains that if anything should happen to him, he feels that Raven is the person that could take over leadership of the team.

Kid Flash runs over the water, near the Titans Yacht, with Solstice trailing behind trying to catch up to him. She tells him that he shouldn't try to outrun his problems. She blasts the water where he is running, disrupting his motion, Solstice catches him just before he crashes in to the water. She tells him that it was he that managed to save her from the lowest part in her life (back at N.O.W.H.E.R.E.), and she knows that he is a good person, and the two finally share a passionate kiss. Just then they are interrupted by Bunker who asks them to come aboard the yacht.

With the whole team gathered together on the yacht, Bunker shows every one a photo of him and another guy. He explains that the guy is the love of his life named Gabriel, and has been in a coma for quite some time. Gabriel has just woken up, and has been asking for him. He explains that he is leaving to be with him, with Beast Boy saying that he will go with him, to make sure he gets there safely. The team is happy for Bunker, and with that, Bunker leaves, as the rest of the Titan's happily bid him farewell.

5Story - 5: Just when I get frustrated at DC for not producing a great Teen Titans book, they throw us a little gem like this issue! I really enjoyed this issue. It ways a great little wrap up of the last several months of stories. Especially after the Trigon story. I don't like to be overly negative, so I was really happy with this issue. I hope it continues.

One thing I must commend Lobdell on, is that usually one issue leads directly into the next. The same with this issue, it literally picks up where the last issue left us on a cliffhanger. I like how Kid Flash's past is trying to catch up with him, also his name being Bar Tor and not necessarily being Bart Allen. As I mentioned last month, I feel that after 2 years since the New 52 launched, it's about time that we start seeing some of the new back story of these characters. Knowing Lobdell's writing style, it will be a long term reveal, but I enjoy the little sprinkles that he gives us. Just wish that it would happen more often.

Aside from Kid Flash, each character had a time to shine in this issue, with Bunker taking second place. It really seemed as if we are bidding farewell to this character. Which is a shame, as he has really felt like the heart and soul of the Titan's. Not sure if he will be back, but he had some great moments this issue. It's revealed this issue, that much like Green Lantern's ring, his powers work on the power of his will. The nice little moment where his will is strong, but not his surroundings, as the door frame gives way, as he tries to help Wonder Girl pull Kid Flash from the multiple arms that are pulling him in to the portal. Also It's revealed that Bunker may also be quite religious, according to his talk with Beast Boy near the end of the issue. I found this to be rather interesting, with Bunker being gay. It should create interesting story elements down the road. It can be a dangerous subject to tackle, so Lobdell certainly needs to bring his "A game" for this little character trait. Beast Boy and Bunker have quite the budding little friendship happening. I like that they are somewhat polar opposites to each other. Beast Boy having a more physical power set as apposed to Bunker's more Psionic power base. Also Beast Boy stating that he doesn't believe in God to Bunker, may cause them to butt heads in the future.

Superboy and Wonder Girl are obviously the Powerhouses of the team. They both got to show that this issue, but what I liked also, was the more softer, intimate sides of them explored this issue. Conner not having a filter, and saying what he thinks was a nice little moment as he sat with Cassie afterwards was a nice funny yet slightly touching moment. As he pretty much admits to Cassie, that he's jealous that Robin kissed her. I'm sure many of us can relate to this. I'm sure we all have had such a moment in our lives that we were a bit envious of someone else. The fact that Cassie thinks Robin/Tim is hot, made me really feel for Conner, but I'm glad that they kissed in the end. I always was a fan of the Superboy/Wonder Girl romance. So I loved that is still in the cards in this new universe. Here's hoping that it isn't just restricted to this book alone.

We got the appropriate amount of Robin this issue. He provided the correct amount of battlefield advice, and the scene at the end with him and Raven was cool. I like him being the leader of this team, as he seems to be the guy with the plan. I also liked that he has Raven in mind, to take over the team if something should happen to him. Raven being surprised at the revelation, I feel may be the catalyst that completely turns her to the side of good, seeing as how she is a traitor amongst the team, secretly working for her father Trigon! Superboy calling Raven "Lil Satan Girl" made me laugh! He's not wrong, and again, not having a filter from his feeling/thought to his mouth can be quite amusing.

Lastly, it looks like that their most certainly is a romance between Kid Flash and Solstice. Solstice being the voice of reason for Kid Flash was rather good to see. I like the character of Solstice quite a lot, and want to see more of her.

All in all, a great character building issue. Money well spent I felt. I just wish this caliber of storytelling would be present each issue, and I certainly would never complain about this book ever again! Also felt like it was a great Jumping off point for anyone that really doesn't want to buy this book anymore! They tied up a few dangling plot threads. It really felt like it could be a good place to stop. I'm certainly carrying on with this book, not just because I review it, but also I love these characters, and do not want to abandon them. And the old saying, "A perfect jumping ON point can be a perfect jumping OFF point," well the opposite can be said here. It could be a good place to jump on, for anybody that wants to start collecting this book.

Just as the issue ended, it says: Next Issue...

Teen Titans #23.1 - Features Trigon.

Teen Titans #23.2 - Lead By Deathstroke.

Before The Titans Return with issue #24 in October.

I know they have this Villains month thing happening in September, but honestly, seems like nothing more than a gimmick. I hope that this thing, doesn't disrupt where this title is seemed to be heading, and not have editorial mandates forced upon the book!

I really just want good story telling and great art! They can keep .1 issues and Villains Month's and anything else from the 90s that they want to drag back up.

5Art - 5: This issue again wasn't done by Eddie Barrows, not sure if DC have moved him on to another book or what. But Robson Rocha and Wayne Faucher did an awesome job with this issue. Robson Rocha has a style that is very similar to Barrows. So at first glance, it wasn't noticeable that there was a change in penciller. I love when this happens in comics. Too often a guest artist is bought in that has a radically different style to that of the regular penciller.

Rocha gave each character in the book, his/her own feel. At times each character had quite fluid movements. Then again there were quite "stiff and posey" shots of characters here and there.

Though Rocha's style seemed similar to Barrows, he has characteristics that are completely his own. They have a real call back to the old Top Cow house style from a quite a few years back.

Wonder Girl sitting atop the hill, looking on to the Titans Yacht is a prime example of a stiff shot. The panel looks as if it belongs in a mid 90s Image comic. Now I'm not complaining about it, I thought it looked rather cool. But it was the first thing that came to mind as I got to that page. So it's nice to have a call back to a comics style that was predominant 20 years ago!

This is also evident when Raven first appears this issue, after Superboy saves Kid Flash.

The first time we see Superboy in the issue is an awesome shot. As he enters the room, using his T.K powers. Michael Bailey has dubbed Superman's glowing red eyes as "The Angry Red Eyes of Anger," and Superboy seems to use them this issue... Though Superboy's seem more like the "Telekinetic Red Eyes of Telekinesis"! (I'm glad he doesn't use those too often, it's quite a pain to type that out).

The interlude with the people in the future that were trying to capture Kid Flash was a great scene. But I found the look of the characters resembling those of the X-Men from Marvel. I know that I have made some comparisons to the X-Men before. But It seems that these guys were inspired from characters from that universe (or rather the look of them).

I like the resemblance that Rocha gave Solstice's hair to that of Starfire when she flies. Though not with such an after glow as Starfire's, but it is a nice little touch. It made me think that Solstice is very much visually an opposite but similar stand in for Starfire. And since we are on the subject of Solstice, I absolutely loved the scene where she blasts Kid Flash out of the water, and then she embraces him. A very cool scene.

To finish things off, I like that Robin was used sparingly this issue. Which really gave the book a team feel, it had been lacking for a few issues. Robin to me resembled a young Bruce Wayne in the double page spread, with him and Raven. I liked that quite a bit. It means he has a "family" look to him. Raven looked as if she could have been anyone. Without the jewel that she sported all those years on her forehead in the real DCU, it made her hard to recognize. Though Raven sporting Trigon's shadow on the page following was a nice touch.

Pete Pantazis continues to do superbly with the colors. I liked the effects he gave the water, as Kid Flash ran over it. Also the effects of Superboy's T.K. Powers looked awesome this issue.

All in all, a very well drawn issue!

5Cover Art - 5: This month's cover was done by Eddie Barrows, Eber Ferreira & Barbara Clardo.

The composition for this cover is great! I like that Kid Flash is being pulled into a portal by many different arms, with the different Titan members looking on in shock from the sides. The best thing about the cover is that this actually happened in the book! Also it doesn't hurt that Eddie Barrows is a fantastic penciller!

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2013

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