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Mild Mannered Reviews - Teen Titans Comics

Teen Titans #25 Teen Titans #25

Teen Titans #25

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 27, 2013

Cover date: January 2014

"A Good Defense"

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Breakdowns: Scott McDaniel
Penciller: Tyler Kirkham
Inker: Art Thibert
Colors: Arif Prianto

Reviewed by: Keith Samra

Click to enlarge

Our story starts off in the distant future, and a planet that is not Earth. Kid Flash and Solstice stand at the ready for a battle against many armed soldiers.

Kid Flash engages in battle with the soldiers, using his speed to take them down one at a time. Rain, the man that is leading the soldiers, is the last to be taken down. Kid Flash talks to him as if he knows him very well, leading to the fact that Kid Flash is starting to remember his past, or parts of it anyway. Rain even teases Kid Flash and calls him "Sir". Leading us to believe that maybe Kid Flash held some high ranking position in his past.

Solstice takes a moment to reflect on how they got to this point. Thinking back to the events that took place that got them into this mess. (Johnny Quick hurling the Teen Titans into the time stream as seen in Forever Evil #2).

Kid Flash suddenly grabs his throat, realizing something is wrong. Rain explains that they were ready for his return. They had Kid Flash breathe in a synthetic accelerant. Meaning the faster he breathed, the deeper it went into his lungs, turning into a solid polymer. Essentially using his own respiratory system against him.

At the sight of Kid Flash being defeated and almost losing his life, Solstice comes to his rescue. Using her powers to block all the shots that the soldiers are firing in their direction.

Meanwhile not too far away, Robin, Wonder Girl, Raven and an unconscious Superboy (secretly Jon Lane Kent) materialize from Raven's soul self, into this time. (This event takes place right after Teen Titans Annual #2). They discuss the issues that took place before they got here. Wonder Girl reminds them that they need to get Superboy somewhere where he can get medical attention. They all see Solstice's power discharge in the distance, and make their way toward it, in the vain hope of finding Solstice and Kid Flash.

Solstice continues to fight back against the soldiers attacking her and Kid Flash. She gets hit by a blast and falls to the ground. Kid Flash sees this and manages to catch the falling Solstice. He gets her to safety and immediately goes after the soldier that fired the shot at her. He attacks the soldier with all his ferocity, ignoring Solstice's pleas for him to stop. Using his speed he repeatedly punches the soldier, until he is stopped by the rest of the Teen Titans. They explain to Kid Flash that he is almost killing the soldier. He looks angry at first, and then stunned at the sight of his blood soaked hands. There is not enough time to regroup as two ships appear over head, ordering everybody to stand down. Kid Flash falls unconscious, and Robin orders the team to surrender, seeing as there is no other option, for them to come out on top.

A green-skinned woman with blonde hair teleports down from the ship. She Teleports down with more but different from the first, soldiers in tow. She explains to the team who she is, introducing herself as Brain 3, Field Commander of Echo. She claims to be part of the good guys. One of her soldiers stands over Kid Flash ready to blast him, he says that Kid Flash/Barr Torr does not deserve to still be alive. Brain 3 explains that he is under their protection now, and blasts her own soldier in the back with her hand gun. She says that their orders are paramount and they must all follow.

Sometime later, on one of the ships, Solstice questions Robin's decision to just surrender to these people, and handing over Kid Flash to them. Robin explains that he feels way out of his depth, and that at least these people are not trying to kill Kid Flash and that Superboy really needed medical help. Solstice walks off angry, leaving Raven to comfort Robin. Raven herself is wrestling with her inner demons, as she has been unable to contact her father, and wonders if he is playing games with her yet again.

Several floors above, in the same ship, Kid Flash is being held in a cell with his hands and legs bound by a large machine. He thinks to himself if he is ready to learn the truth about his past, Solstice appears, she assures him that she will get him out, even if the others don't seem like they want to. He tells her that it's time for him to stop running, and finally learn the truth. Solstice upset at the fact that she can't do much else to help, falls to the ground in despair. Brain 3, Robin and Raven enter the room, they cheer up Solstice by telling her that they don't intend to leave Kid Flash behind.

Brain 3 is told by her team that the Holoprog machine is ready. It will sort out all the false memories that are in Kid Flash's head and reveal the true ones.

They all watch on screen and are shocked at the horrible sight of Kid Flash reveling in bloodshed, whilst wearing a green and gold costume similar to the one he has now.

Raven interjects, saying that she feels a great deal of emotional pain coming from Wonder Girl, Robin assures her that Wonder Girl can take care of herself. Our story ends with Wonder Girl being held up by her throat by the young man she believes is Superboy, but in reality is Jon Lane Kent, the future son of Superman and Lois Lane.

3Story - 3: This issue had a lot going for it. We finally seem to be delving into Bart's past, and with the Superboy/JLK twist, it seems to be exciting times ahead for the team. But sadly I couldn't get into this issue. If you break it down, there is a fight, the team arrives to stop the fight and then they surrender. Now some may think that this is no different to any other comic plot nowadays, but I still really find the decompressed storytelling very annoying and unnecessarily stretched out. The Bart and Kiran side of the story could have been combined with last month's Teen Titans Annual #2. But regardless of that fact, it is what it is, and it's a shame that I couldn't bring myself to grade it any higher than a 3.

I really enjoyed Robin's lack of confidence this issue, and that he admitted to being out of his depth. Also the fact that Solstice called him out on it.

Also liked that we got to see more of Solstice this issue. She is the only Teen Titan that I feel hasn't had too much screen time since her debut in this universe.

Raven having trouble contacting Trigon and doubting his intentions makes me believe that she will soon join the team whole heartedly, and fight against her father.

Also it seems Lobdell is throwing us for a loop, with Kid Flash's true past turning out to be more sinister than we originally thought. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this yet, but looks to be an interesting ride ahead. Though I did like that Bart could possibly have been Inertia in his own time line. For all those that don't know who Inertia was... He was practically Bart's evil twin back in the regular DCU before the New 52.

The biggest shocker for me this month was the character of Brain 3. She really, really, really bears a great likeness to a certain Superman villain with a similar name. And she and her troops did look like they were from the planet Colu. I hope that this is explained further, in the months to come.

Sadly we didn't get to see much of the Superboy/JLK angle this issue, but it looks like it will play out well in Superboy #26 and possibly next month's Teen Titans issue.

All in all, good issue, not great though.

5Art - 5: I have always liked Tyler Kirkham's art. He is very talented, and brings an old school 90s feel to whatever he draws. He is after all a Top Cow boy, who got his chance working under and with the great Marc Silvestri.

The art did seem a bit rushed in some places, but I still enjoyed it very much. Though I do hope they find a regular and stable art team soon.

Arif Prianto was our guest colorist this month. And I feel he did a great job!

5Cover Art - 5: This Month's cover was done by Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund!

I think that it captured the essence of the story quite well. Also, it's great to see Booth and Rapmund's art on the book once again.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2014

February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014

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