Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Teen Titans #19 Review and **SPOILERS**
Get Back to Where You Once Belonged
Written By: Greg Pak
Art By: Ian Churchill and Alvaro Martinez, Norm Rapmund and Raul Fernandez, Tony Aviña
Letters By: Corey Breen
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 27, 2016
**NON-SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
Who is Cassie “Wonder Girl” Sandsmark? Who is anyone? Are we the people we project to the world, or the personality that is perceived by others? I suppose the question ultimately is: do we define ourselves, or do our circumstances define us? History would tell us that it’s the latter, yet our innate ambitions are what spurs us to become the types of people that history may record. It’s all about who controls the narrative—the meekest accountant became a wild west gunslinger at the turn of the last century, depending on how convincingly he spun a yarn, and in the twenty-first century we control our narratives by narrowing the information willingly released to social media. We can all seem happy, active, full of life for our Twitter and Facebook profiles, all the while seething with a sense of impending doom and falsity that wells within the pits of our stomachs and slithers upwards to entwine our taxed metaphorical hearts. Weird Science DC Comics Blog doesn’t do that; at this site we own up to the fact that our self-awareness is a curse, not a gift, and our narcissism and continual reflection are banes to an actually happy and fulfilling life. Would that we were all born turtles. What does this have to do with this issue of Teen Titans? Not much, but it’s more entertaining than the book. I’ll try to maintain that streak if you’ll read on!
Looks to me like we’ve reached the final steps of Wonder Girl rehab, as Cassandra and Wonder Woman have revealed her relationship to them as their neice (they are half sisters) and they’re in possession of Apollo’s rod, which can apparently grant three wishes. Apollo had a follow-up line to that for when we were out at the bar and regaling our friends, but he’s dead now so he can’t say it. Cassandra tells Cassie to give her the stick so she can bring her half-brother and Cassie’s pop Lennox back to life for some daddy/daughter time. Just then, Wonder Woman decides that giving a murderous demi-goddess infinite power isn’t such a great idea and lunges for the rod, knocking it from Cassandra’s grasp and into a great chasm. Wonder Woman and Cassandra tussle around, and Wondy tells Cassie to grab the rod before it spills into some bubbling lava, because it’s probably worth a lot and might be part of a set you don’t want broken up. To save a stick, the Teen Titans spring into action! Though only one of them needed to spring into action, because Bunker neatly saves it by sending a platform of projected purple bricks to catch it before the rod burned. In all the fracas, a cave-in happens that separates the Titans from Wonder Woman and Cassandra.
Alone with her buds, Cassie now has to wrestle with whether or not she wants to resurrect her dad or teleport the gang to DisneyWorld. The team is divided about what to do, and Raven points out that the rod was damaged in the fall and is losing its wishing charge, because she used to work at a retail wishing rod outlet so she’s sort of an expert. Cassandra busts in and convinces Wonder Girl to toss her the rod so she can bring back Lennox, and just as Wonder Woman pops through the wall to holler at Cassie not to do it, Cassandra uses the rod to restore her mind-controlling magic voice and forces everyone to stop in their tracks! Wow! Who’da thunk it? The crazy sociopathic liar turned out to be a crazy sociopathic liar! She was able to trick Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth because, like George Costanza, she made herself believe her own lie. To show there’s no hard feelings, however, she decides to use her near omnipotence to kill everyone in the room by commanding them to die! But…oh god guys, this is almost unbelievable…though unable to move due to Cassandra’s command, Bunker can still make constructs and so sends miniature purple bricks to everyone’s ears (except for Cassandra’s jackal-men) so they can’t hear Cassandra tell them to die! And it is really soo silly, you guys, I probably shouldn’t show such a scene but you have to see it:
After that, Wonder Girl has her golden rage-out Shredder armor on, and beats the snot out of Cassandra, then slits her throat so she can’t yap anymore. With one wish left in Apollo’s rod, Cassandra decides to use it to heal Cassandra’s throat—but not her voice. Cassandra is remanded to Wonder Woman’s custody, who will process her at the Mount Olympus P.D. which, let me tell you, is not known to be very fair-minded. Wonder Woman is all proud of Cassie’s heroic sacrifices, and says she’d be glad to bring her up on the god mountain and introduce her to the rest of her lecherous and weird family members, but Cassie remarks that she has her family, and it includes a green kid as well as a chick that likes to wear a feathered bathing cap. Just the way she likes it.
This is a comic that exists and has things happening in it that are reasonably well-paced and mildly engrossing. The art is not spectacular, but more than good enough and surely no reason to avoid this comic. I don’t know if there is a good reason to avoid this comic, other than it seems to lack any stakes or even real conflict. If you’re a Wonder Girl fan, and took particular umbrage at her representation in the New 52, then this three-part arc acts as a sort of redemption. But otherwise, it’s just about Cassie becoming the hero we always wanted her to be, and I suppose there are worse stories to tell than that.
Bits and Pieces:
Wonder Girl's redemption concludes with a saccharine-sweet ending and no real resolution regarding her father. Bunker is the real hero of the book, saving everyone's hash not once, but twice. How awesomely ridiculous is this guy's power? Creating purple brick constructs like Iceman from the original X-Men made ice slides? Give this guy a book for crying out loud, he's been maligned long enough in this train wreck of a series! Let's see a four-issue miniseries about Bunker!